March 26, 1902


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



But when he came to the question of colonial help towards the British army and navy, Mr. Chamberlain was more interested in the colonies. In 1900, a motion was made in the House to lay down the principle of colonial representation in the British parliament. Mr. Chamberlain then said that, though in theory he might agree with the principle laid down by the motion, yet he did not see it was of any use to raise the question now. The seconder of the motion, Mr. Trevelyan, had stated that in the South African war the colonies had displayed all the loyalty that could be desired, but that a time might come when that feeling would cool down; and therefore they ought immediately to give a kind of legislative sanction to that action, and give representation to the colonies, so that in future they might be induced to supply the men and money in every war in which Great Britain might become entangled. Mr. Chamberlain immediately dispelled that idea. He said : You don't know the colonies, you don't know the generosity of the colonies, you can expect everything from them :

I believe that if in any stress, or difficulty, or crisis of our fate, we did make a call on the colonies, their efforts would be Immensely gi eater even than those they have already made.

Now, turning to the other wing of the dominant party in England just now, turning to Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, who is the representative of the old Tory element, what have we seen ? Sir Michael Hicks-Beach has repeated time and again that the colonies need not expect anything from Great Britain in the matter of commercial advantages ; that Great Britain would not sacrifice one cent of her foreign trade in order to benefit by that cent the loyal colonies of Great Britain. But when it came to the question of organizing the empire on a military basis so as to give Great Britain the men and money she would like to acquire in order to lessen the burden upon her own people, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach changed his position. He said in Liverpool, on the 24th of October, 1900 :

With an expanding empire we ought to have a much more widely spread system of contribution to Imperial defence than that which we at present enjoy. I do not believe you will find a single colony that will object to that. The whole history of the South African campaign shows that they have come forward voluntarily to a man in a matter which at first, apparently, did not affect ^ them, to place their men and means at the disposal of Her Majesty's government for the safety of the empire, and X am convinced that our colonists in America, in Canada, and in Australia are much too proud to desire to impose on the mother country anything more than she ought to fairly bear for Imperial defence. We have at the present moment a great feeling of enthusiasm on the part of Her Majesty's subjects throughout the world. For the present and future of the empire, I desire to see that feeling utilized. X desire every politician in this country or in the colonies, and every man of business, to do his best to utilize

and to systematize while they can that feeling of enthusiasm.

But when it came to the question of granting any favour to the colonies, in the very same speech Sir Michael said :

To suppose that this country, after fifty years experience of what the freedom of taxation ,on imports of raw material and food means to us, will deliberately resort to the taxation of raw material and food from foreign countries, is to my mind an impossibility. I do not wish to argue the question further. I wish, as I have said, simply to state my own opinion that any person in our colonies or in this country who founds his views as to the future on the possibility of any solution of this question1 except on the basis of free trade, is founding his views or; a foundation of sand, and I would not for the world have the responsibility of saying to our fellow subjects that we can deal with it on any other basis than that of free trade.

Sir, there is something that I always admire in British statesmen, and that is that when they express their views they do so in no ambiguous manner ; they let us know with whom we have to deal, and with what system we are confronted. But I say that after such declarations we ought to know what are the sentiments of the British people and the British government. Last summer I had the advantage of a long interview with a member of the British government- not a member of the cabinet but of the government-not one of the rising stars of the party in power in England. I put to him this simple question : ' You are working up in this country and in the colonies, through your representatives, a strong feeling of what you call the new imperialism. But are you not afraid that when the people in Great Britain and the colonies find out that you are keeping them under a delusion, a strong reaction will take place ?' He asked:

' What do you mean ?'-I said, ' here in . England I hear only of what the colonies have done for Great Britain, of what the colonies will do for Great Britain, of what Great Britain can expect from the colonies ; but I hear nothing of what the colonies may expect from Great Britain.' ' Well, surely,' he said, ' they do not expect anything; we are told by your representatives that the colonies expect nothing.'-He was not disposed to believe me, although very polite in his expressions, when I told him that there might develop a disposition in Canada to expect something from Great Britain, either in a political, a legislative or a commercial sense. I say, Mr. Speaker, that it. is dangerous for all parties concerned, it is not loyal on the part of the parliament of Canada, to allow the British government and the British people to remain under the impression that Canadians are ready to make any sacrifice and to ask for nothing in return.

I have already stated that last fall, after the Clayton-Bulwer treaty was repealed, without any consideration apparently being given to the wishes of the Canadian government, some strong expressions of opinion

were made in the public press of this country. We had the leading organ of the hon. gentlemen opposite in the city of Ottawa, publishing a strong argument against the stand taken by the British government, and next day it was followed by a correspondence, published without a word of dissent on the part of the editorial management. If the language of this correspondence had come from my own disloyal lips it would have raised a feeling of indignation among all the loyal representatives in this House. Let me quote :

Many of our leading newspapers have been representing Britain as an indulgent mother, protecting us with her army, navy and great prestige, and Canada as a selfish and ungrateful dependent, accepting everything and1 contributing nothing towards the defence of the empire.

The writers who thus slander their own country have profited little by their study of history. When and where, in the last eighty-seven years, has Britain protected us or championed our cause ? .

I assert unhesitatingly that in the settlement of every dispute between Britain and the United States, Canada has been the victim. Like Arte-mus Ward, who was willing to sacrifice all his wife's relations on the altar of lids country, the Imperial government has cheerfully sacrificed Canada's interests to maintain friendly relations with the United States.

Owing to our geographical position, Britain's army and navy could afford but slight, if any, protection to Canada. . . . The only possible enemy that Canada need fear is our neighbour on this continent, the mighty republic. Against their aggressiveness British power and prestige have hitherto failed to protect us, and, if ever there was a possibility of such protection being granted in the past, it is rapidly diminishing if it has not already disappeared.

We are doing far more for Britain than Britain has done for Canada in nearly a century. While we are admitted to the markets of the United Kingdom on no better terms than the worst enemies of the empire, we give British trade a substantial preference. While Britain has never, since the last war with the United Slates, taken a firm stand to protect us from the rapacity of our neighbours, Canadians have risked their lives, shed thoir blood and taxed themselves cheerfully to maintain the prestige of the empire

It is high time that Canadians became, not less loyal, but more patriotic. While we have no right to condemn the policy of the British government, which has been dictated in the Interest, or what has been regarded as the interest, of the empire as a whole, we should look the fact squarely in the face that in any clash of interests between the United States and the Dominion we need look for neither sympathy nor support from the Imperial government. We will be expected to adhere to the traditional policy of Downing Street and sacrifice ourseives for the benefit of, the empire and the maintenance of cordial relations- between England and the great American republic.

Sir, these sentiments are not exactly mine. My feeling against Great Britain is most certainly not so pronounced as that. For my part I am an Imperialist from" a certain standpoint. But my Imperialism is that

of the good old British school that made the empire what it is, and which was expressed in those words of Burke when he vainly protested against the policy of the Imperial government of George III and Lord North, namely : That the secret of British expansion in the world was a ' wise and salutary neglect ' towards the colonies. I am one of those who do not ask that the British government should take any part in all our troubles. I am not asking that the British government should be involved in our difficulties. I am not asking any favours commercially or otherwise from the British government. But I do say that if we are forced by the government of Great Britain, or by the government of Canada, or by a feeling of false loyalty in this country, to do for the government of Great Britain and the people of Great Britain what we are not bound to do-what we were never asked to do in the past in commercial or in military matters-then it follows that some compensation should be made by the British people to the Canadian people. -Let the British government leave us free to develop our policy, to have the foreign relations we want to have, to trade where we like to trade : I do not ask any favour from tlie British government. But, if through the influence of the British government, or through our own policy, we are going to proclaim to the British people and to the world at large that we want to trade only with Great Britain; that we want to give favours to the British public which we will not give to other people; then I say that as a consequence, similar favours must be granted to the Canadian people by the British people.

Now, Sir, an Imperial conference will be held in London this summer at which Canada will be represented, if I understand aright, by three of the Canadian ministers. We have before us the letter of invitation that was sent by the British government to the Canadian government, and the reply thereto of the Canadian authorities. When I asked for the production of these papers the right hon. Prime Minister said that I would be disappointed with the text of that correspondence. Well, I may say to the Prime Minister, that every time he and his government stand for the defence of Canadian interests; every time they tell the British government that before being representatives of the British Crown they are representatives of the Canadian people, I shall fully sympathize with them. Therefore, I am not disappointed with the correspondence. I fully approve of the principle laid down in the letter sent by the Canadian government in reply to the invitation of the British government, which states that the only question which may be fruitful of result is the question of commercial relations and a discussion thereon.

But, Sir, I think that the parliament of Canada and the people of Canada are en-Mr. BOURASSA.

titled to know upon what basis the Canadian government are prepared to consider commercial relations at that conference. I think this discussion might be fruitful of good result; but I believe that the Canadian representatives, though they undoubtedly know the feelings of the Canadian people, should take the Canadian parliament into their confidence as to the views which they intend propounding at that conference with regard to the future relations of the different parts of the empire. I need not say what my view is-I need not say what the view is of more people than I seem to represent in this House to-day. That view is that this question should be discussed on a purely business basis; that we should not give up one iota of our freedom of trade with any country in the world; and that if we are brought to the point of making trade arrangements either with Britain or any of our sister colonies, it shall be on the basis of purely direct treaties between Canada and any of these sister colonies.

That view further is : That in any treaty that will be made, or in any trade arrangement that will be made either between Great Britain and Canada, or between Canada and any other colony, there should be no mere sentimentality introduced, but that Canada should play the part of an equal business partner and get as much as she will givfr.

It may be said that the right hon. premier stated in England in 1897 that Canada asked no favours; but, Sir, I claim that circumstances have changed since then. I repeat what I said before : I do not denounce the right hon. gentleman for anything he said at that time on this particular point. Our preferential treatment of Great Britain was an experiment; but now, enlightened by the result of that experiment, seeing that the result has not been what we expected-seeing that trade facilities could be had with other countries,-the right hon. gentleman should not be afraid to take the position of saying to the British government : ' The results have not been what we expected; some of the British traders are taking advantage of our policy to bring German! goods into England and export them to Canada as British gcods enjoying that preference; and whilst we have denounced the German treaty, Britain herself has been very glad to enter into a trade arrangement by which she enjoys the minimum tariff with Germany, while we suffer under the maximum tariff; and, in addition to that, German goods are exported from England to Canada under the preferential tariff, to the great detriment of our own people.' It will not be harder for the right hon. gentleman to change the position he had taken on this point than it was for him to change the position which he took with regard to another Imperial matter.

In 1897, the right hon. gentleman said that Canada was anxious for representation

in the British government, or rather, that the time would soon come when Canada would ask for representation in the British parliament; but having found out now that the sentiment of the people of Canada is not in favour of representation in the British parliament, the right hou. gentleman has stated in his letter to the British government that no good can be obtained from the discussion of our political relations. Sir, it is the duty of the representative of any country to conform his views to the views of the people of that country.

The second point upon which I think our representatives at the coming London conference should not abandon one iota of our rights, is the vexed question of the embargo on our cattle. It is for them to say that nothing will be discussed in the way of commercial relations between Great Britain and Canada until the embargo on Canadian cattle is removed. Our re-jjresentatives should say that before we enter into any new trade arrangements, the unjustifiable wrong of barring out our cattle from England should disappear, and that the least we can expect from the motherland is that she will cease branding all over the world that Canadian cattle is diseased, when, in fact, they are not diseased, and when, in fact, further, any cattle disease we ever had in this country was imported from the old country.

Another point upon which the right hon. gentlemen and his colleagues should insist most strenuously is, that the Colonial Secretary should not be allowed to interfere with any legislation that may be adopted in Canada in reference to immigration. The right hon. gentleman and his colleagues should insist that the Colonial Secretary has not the right to send letters to the Governor General of Canada stating that our constitution means this and means that ; that such and such powers belong t to provincial governments, and that such and such powers belong to the federal parliament. The Canadian representatives should make Mr. Chamberlain understand that the time is passed, and passed long ago, when a Colonial Secretary in Downing Street, a mere politician in England, has the right to interpret the constitution under which the people of Canada live. As I said last night, and I insist upon that point : We are all of us, French Canadians and English Canadians, ready to submit any point in our constitution to the interpretation of the judiciary in England selected for that purpose. However, not as a French Canadian, but as a free British Canadian, I have the strongest objection to the Colonial Secretary writing to the Canadian government to say that our constitution means this or means that, and that the Federal government should interfere with this or that provincial law, because some Imperial interest is supposed to be at stake.

As to the inter-imperial trade advocated by the leader of the opposition, I have

clearly stated my views last year. I do not want it, and for two reasons. First, because it is absurd to again beg from the British people what they have three times before declared in their parliament, with sneers at our expense, that they will never grant to us. Second, because, as I said last year, we can only get a preferential treatment in England at the expense^ of our freedom, commercial, political and military ; and that the preference under such circumstances would not be worth our while. We cannot get that preferential treatment in England without having in London a aoun-cil of some kind that will look after its operation. Surely the hon. leader of the opposition and his party are not prepared to say that after we have entered into an agreement with the British government and all the colonial governments, that the operation of the trade under that agreement should be left entirely in the hands of the British government. Then, does he mean to say that it is impossible to follow up the operation of such a trade by correspondence between the various governments, in London, at Ottawa, at Melbourne, at Christchurch, and the capitals of all the other British colonies ? No. The inevitable consequence-and Mr. Chamberlain, with his clearness of mind, has seen it for years-would be the sitting in London of an Imperial council, on which Canada would be represented by one or two gentlemen, who would dine every week with Mr. Chamberlain, and would be too near London to be near enough to Ottawa. We have seen something of this kind at the sitting of the Pacific Cable Board. When Lord Strathcona speaks, with all his devotion to Canada's interests, he speaks as a member of the House of Lords and a capitalist who has large investments in Great Britain, as much as a Canadian representative. This is not owing to any bad feeling or unfaithfulness to the Canadian people on his part ; but after all. a man is a man ; and when his interests are divided in so many directions, he cannot be expected to be solely a representative of his country. Moreover, it would be most dangerous-and on this point Mr. Ross, the premier of Ontario, has given expression to the same feeling-for the people of Canada to see any part of their policy, whether commercial or political, disposed of by a body of men sitting in London, even if that body should be composed of the best men in the empire. I repeat after Mr, Ross that the only way the Canadian people can have their will asserted is through their representatives in parliament. I objection to our representatives going to London once in a while to meet the representatives of the sister colonies, but the operation of a trade policy such as that suggested by hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House would be utterly impossible unless a permanent Imperial council be created. That policy would entail a considerable diminu-

tion of our liberties, not only in regard to our trade relations but our political relations and our military relations also. Mr. Chamberlain has stated time and again in the British parliament and on the platform- and all his followers and sympathisers in the Liberal and Conservative parties have repeated-that whenever the colonies received any sort of representation or preferential treatment in Great Britain, they would compensate the British people to a greater extent than the amount they received, by military contributions. Therefore if the government of this country are not prepared to discuss a change in our political and military relations, they cannot accept the proposal made by the leader of the opposition on the subject of preferential trade.

Sir, I will sum up what we want said in our name before the I mperia I conference. We want it said that we are ready to increase and strengthen our relations with Great Britain and with the sister colonies, but on the condition that we shall not sacrifice one iota of the liberties and privileges we possess, not only by the letter of the law but by the spirit of the constitution ; that is, that we want to keep full control of our trade relations, our political relations and our military relations with Great Britain ; that we want to keep in the hands of the Canadian parliament, as representing the Canadian people, the full control not only of our relations with the motherland and the sister colonies, but our relations with foreign countries as well. It has been announced by the government-and I hope it will be carried out-that we are going to have agents representing this country in various foreign countries. If we are serious with that policy, and really desire to trade with these foreign countries, and want these agents of ours to be in a position to do good work, they must be empowered to say to any foreign country that while we are British subjects, we are at the same time in the full enjoyment of self-government and can make our own trade policy, and are not childish enough to say that we will trade only with Great Britain and the sister colonies, but are ready to trade with any country that is ready to trade with us on fair terms. This, coupled with a strong 1 transportation policy, which this govern- ' merit seems to have at heart, is the way to build up this country, to develop its resources, to increase its wealth and population. This is a far better way to render 1 service to the empire and to add prestige >

to the British Crown than by making so < many speeches and talking so much of our i loyalty and neglecting to take the necessary I means to develop our own country. If we < do not make up our minds to pursue our 1 own course, to paddle our own canoe, then i we shall continue to be as we have been 1 during most of our past life, especially at 1 all critical periods in our history-going ( backwards and forwards from American in- 1 fluence to English influence, and vice versa, t


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



We shall never attain the development we

- are entitled to have if the representatives . of Canada go to London imbued with any l other idea. But if they carry to the foot

- of the Throne an expression of the loyalty i of the people of this country, French-Can-r adians as well as English-Canadians, and at

- the same time an expression of the serious- ness of the Canadian people in making the ' British government understand that we are l not only a loyal people but a business peo-

- pie, that we are not only loyal to England, : but, as the right hon. leader of this House t so eloquently expressed it in years past,

1 we are loyal to Canada, first, last and for: ever, then I shall be the first to congratu-* late him on his return to this country.

; Mr. M. K. RICHARDSON (South Grey). Mr. Speaker, in rising to address this House after so emminent a speaker as the hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Bourassa), I feel some temerity in attempting to interest hon. members. There is very much in the hon. gentleman's address with which I am in accord, and I think there would have been a more general accord with many of the sentiments he has expressed, especially with regard to our trade policy, if he had not been so unfair in charging the British government with a lack of response to the offers of this country to give preferential treatment to British trade. What could we expect by the way of response when the British statesmen were told by our representative that we did not ask anything in return for what we were giving-that we not only did not ask anything, but did not want anything in return ? He took it out of the power of British statesmen to advocate Canadian interests in that regard.

The subject of a fiscal policy for this country has been discussed so fully and so ably, and has been viewed from so many sides, that few new facts or arguments can be advanced on the subject. However, I will trespass on the patience of the House only for a short time while I present the case from my point of view. In a country that has so many diversified interests and such a variety of products as our country has, a consideration of the fiscal policy which shall be best suited to the wants of the country as a whole must always be a fertile subject for debate and for difference of opinion ; and in the discussion of this subject we need to rise above the limited views of what is best for our own particular locality, to sink all sectional prejudices, and candidly ask how any proposed policy will conduce to the advantage or prosperity of the country as a whole. As a firm believer in a confederated Canada, in a Canadian nationality having a distinctive character and a great future, I have listened with intense interest to the budget debate which has continued for some days.

I have noticed one peculiar thing-that on this side of the House there is a remarkable

unanimity of opinion as to the fiscal policy which is best suited to this country, while on the other side of the House there has been a charming variety, with all kinds of opinions advocated, from the most extreme free trade views to high protectionist views. Now, the trade policy of a country must have regard to changing conditions, internal as well as external. What may suit a country's needs at one period of its history might become entirely unsuitable at another period. Thus we are confronted with the question what is the best policy for Canada to-day ? We need to view this question, not from the standpoint of the doctrinaire, who has enunciated a lot of theories on protection or free trade, having a worldwide applicability, but from the standpoint of history and experience. For as experience is in individual life, the greatest and the best teacher, so it is in national life.

So much statistical matter has been put before the House in this debate that I shall not attempt anything in that line. Far more figures have been submitted to the House than can possibly be carried in any one's memory, and I do not believe that anything new of much importance can be submitted further in this direction. There are a few questions, however, which may be considered. The first is, has the fiscal policy of this country been conducive to its prosperity and does the policy submitted to us by the Finance Minister meet with the needs and circumstances of the time ? There is one feature of it which we on this side have not much reason to complain of. The country no doubt has reason to be grateful to the government for not having, when they assumed the reins of power, made the radical changes in our fiscal policy which, during eighteen years, they declared their intention of making. We have reason to be thankful that this government has seen fit to continue, in a large measure, the policy of protection to our manufacturing industry which was inaugurated by the Conservative party, and which, during eighteen years in opposition, hon. gentlemen opposite had been condemning from one end of the country to the other. That policy carried the country through very severe periods of agricultural and commercial depression. When in India, Australia and all European countries and the United States, we saw financial institutions wrecked by the hundreds, Canada, thanks to the stability given her institutions by the beneficent operation of the national policy, stood the storm better than any other country in the world. I do not say that we did not feel its effects or that it did not strike us as well as other countries. That would have been impossible because our trade relations with other countries must necessarily always cause us to feel the effects of depression in those countries, but there is no doubt that, thanks to the policy inaugurated by the late government, we came out of the trial much better than did

other countries and we owe the present administration some gratitude for continuing that policy in a great measure, despite their pledge to destroy it root and branch. They abandoned the policy in name but have held on to it in principle as the sheet anchor of our commercial and national safety ; and only in so far as they have departed from that policy, has their administration been injurious to the best interests of the country. But these hon. gentlemen are not to-day so much afraid of the name ' protection ' as they used to be a few years ago. True, there are some fossils of the party who still call themselves absolute free traders, but we hear to-day none of the diatribes with which these hon. gentlemen were wont to regale us a few years ago against the public pillage by our manufacturers under the guise of protection. And we have had the extraordinary spectacle of prominent gentlemen opposite declaring themselves protectionists without any disguise, as the last speaker and as others who have preceded him have done. Then we have had the .declaration of the hon. member for North Norfolk that protection was to have been the policy of the Mackenzie government, and that it was only by a mere accident that that government did not adopt it. The Conservative party, he said, came into possession of a policy which the Mackenzie administration was seriously considering the wisdom of adopting.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there were many Conservatives in this country who felt that the accession to power of the Reform party might not be an unmixed evil. While in opposition, that party professed to have a monopoly of all the public virtues, and in their denunciations of every form of venality they posed as purest gems of the first water. They were to be rare economists, their advent to power was to be marked at once by reduction of expenditure, and the abolition of useless offices, such as the portfolio of Trade and Commerce. The abolition of the Senate was another reform on their programme, although sometimes they were moderate and simply talked, not of abolishing, but of reforming it. Weil, Mr. Speaker, they have carried out in the latter respect, their pledge to the letter, for they are reforming the Senate pretty rapidly, as rapidly as nature will permit. They were to bring about lessened taxation and cheaper living for the artisan and better markets for our farm produce, and last, but not least, a rapid reduction of our national debt. There were many Conservatives who were led to believe that these gentlemen might possibly administer the affairs of the country more economically and do something to improve our trade relations with other countries. Hon. gentlemen opposite declared most emphatically that they would without any delay put our trade relations with the United States on a mucli more satisfactory basis than the Conservative party could possibly succeed in doing, but we all know how

more, on this side of the House, who care less for power than to see an honest, economical yet progressive administration of the government of this country. There has not been, on the part of this government, that sympathy for the agriculturists that there ought to have been. They have asked for something which has been denied. We know that it is an open question whether the introduction of the manufacture of beet-root sugar would be a real advantage to the country. At present it presents itself in a favourable light to many of our farmers. It has been demonstrated that beet root equal to any in the world for the manufacture of sugar can be produced in Canada. It has been shown also that this is especially an industry that deserves assistance from the government. It is an industry that cannot be started individually. It calls for the investment of large capital. But even with ample capital something more is required, for it takes many months, it may take even years to get the farmers of the country educated to the production of the raw material for the manufacture of sugar. Therefore, small concessions have been asked in the way of a bounty on beet-root sugar. That is reasonable, and it is not proposed that the bounty should be continued, but that it should expire with the efflux of time. *

Other great opportunities have been allowed to slip past by this government. There was a great opportunity for securing the advantage and prestige of Canada when the various colonies were sending out their contingents to assist the British arms in South Africa. Canada should not have been in the rear in that regard ; Canada had a right to take the first place, and as it did not do so, a great opportunity for Canada's advantage was lost. A great opportunity was lost when this government, on coming into power, failed to take hold of the contract which had been entered into by the preceding government for the establishment of a fast Atlantic steamship line between Great Britain and this country. Had such a line been established, it would now have been carrying the products of our farms and of our factories, in a quick and satisfactory manner, into the great markets of the old world. I need not go into the history of that transaction ; a great opportunity was let go by, and it has not occurred again when conditions equally satisfactory could have been obtained. Another great opportunity was lost when this government failed to obtain reciprocal trade with Great Britain. I know it has been asserted that we could not have obtained from Great Britain those advantages which we desired. But, Sir, we have had no opportunity of knowing whether we could or could not have procured some concession from the British government. We have reason to believe that we could have obtained some concession. There has never been a time in the history Mr. RICHARDSON (South Grey).

of Great Britain, at least during the last half century, when British statesmen were so much disposed to depart to some extent from their free trade principles as they have been during the last few years; and if they are ever going to relax those principles iu any degree, the present is the most opportune time to do so when they can thereby bind the colonies and the empire more closely together. So I say that in the contingency which has arisen by the war in South Africa there was a great opportunity of obtaining some commercial concession from Great Britain in favour of the colonies, and of giving a more substantial character to Imperial interests than they have now.

Another great opportunity will soon arise when the representatives of the various colonies of the empire meet in London to discuss questions of this character. What will be the result of that conference ? Canadians will watch, and listen, and wait with expectancy, Great Britain will wait with expectancy, the colonies in the southern seas will await with expectancy the results of that most important meeting. Certainly we all hope that greater wisdom will prevail in the councils in London at that meeting than we have hitherto witnessed, and that the representatives of Canada while faithfully considering the interests of Great Britain, will not forget that their duty is first and foremost to the Dominion of Canada.


Duncan Cameron Fraser


Mr. D. C. FRASER (Guysborough).

In addressing myself for a short time to the House I wish to say in the first place that I do not mean to discuss the admirable essay to which we have just listened. Its moral tone was excellent; indeed it was a joint effort of morality and beet sugar. I only leave the bon. gentleman (Mr. Richardson) to settle the beet sugar question with his confrere from Pictou (Mr. Bell) who addressed this House the other day. He has forgotten that the beet sugar question is solving itself, and that the Mormons are coming into the North-west in large numbers and building up beet sugar factories under the present government, and that they are going to make a success of it. I submit that if Mormons succeed in the Northwest, Christians ought certainly' to succeed in the east.


Duncan Cameron Fraser



Well, the hon. gentlemen opposite might desire to adopt their tenets, but I do not approve of them.


Matthew Henry Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)


Your policy is better adapted to Mormons than it is to Christians.


Duncan Cameron Fraser



Oh, the hon. gentleman is too old. I wish to begin with the question that was brought before the House by the leader of the opposition ; and not since the Conservative party was dispersed so as not

yet to find out exactly where they stand, was I better pleased than I was with the resolution produced by the leader of the opposition. It is a resolution that will bear a certain amount of dissection. I submit that its terms are somewhat broad, and for myself I can scarcely understand its application.

This House, regarding the operation of the present tariff as unsatisfactory

That I can understand. The tariff is too low, there can be no other reason. But if it is unsatisfactory, who is to blame for it ? If hon. gentlemen opposite are to be believed, it is their tariff that they enforced previous to 1896. Was it unsatisfactory then ? What has made it unsatisfactory since ? Is it unsatisfactory because it keeps the hon. gentlemen opposite out of power, or is it unsatisfactory because there is, as I shall be able to show, a substantial decrease in the duties paid. I think that it is the latter reason, it is unsatisfactory because there is a decrease. Now I would like to know how it is going to be amended by hon. gentlemen opposite. Let us follow the amendment.

is of opinion that this country requires a

declared policy.

Why a declared policy and if declared, what is to be the declaration ? A policy is nothing. It may be a high tariff, a low tariff, or anything you like, it will be a policy. And what is a declared policy ? It is not, you will notice, a declared policy upon any special lines, it is a declared policy ' of adequate protection to labour.' What is adequate protection to labour ? Are you going to take any of the meanings usually given to the word ? Does the leader of the opposition mean, by a declared policy, the old meaning of the word, equal in magnitude, or does he mean the more modern use of the term, as commensurate in fitness, equal, or amounting to what is required? Fully sufficient, suitable, fitting ? Or does he take the logical view of it and say that it is fully answering to a given state of things ? Now I submit that this House could not with any dignity accept a resolution that did not lay down the terms of the declared policy. A policy is a policy, whether it is declared or not. You should say what is going to constitute the policy. But there is no policy without a substratum of facts on which the policy is to be built. I think the leader of the opposition should have gone back to the resolution of 1878, with which I wish to compare this one. That resolution was moved by the Conservative giant who at that time led the opposition. There was at least something in the resolution moved by Sir John A. Macdonald that appealed to the people of this country and laid the foundation of a policy.

This House is of the opinion.

Not that ' there should be a declared policy,' you see.

This House is of the opinion that the welfare of Canada requires the adoption of a National Policy

Then it was national, now it is declared.

which by a judicious readjustment of the

tariff, will benefit and foster the agricultural, the mining, the manufacturing and other interests of the Dominion.

That is the policy of the late Sir John A. Macdonald. Now as to the results predicted :

That such a policy will retain in Canada thousands of our fellow countrymen now obliged to expatriate themselves in search of the employment denied them at home, will restore prosperity to our struggling industries, now so sadly depressed, will prevent Canada from being made a sacrifice market, will encourage and develop an active interprovincial trade, and moving (as it ought to do) in the direction of a reciprocity of tariffs with our neighbours, so far a3 the varied interests of Canada may demand, will greatly tend to procure for this country, eventually, a reciprocity of trade.

That at least did show the lines on which that national policy was to be constructed ; but I submit that this resolution shows nothing except a declared policy. I have looked over the speech of the leader of the opposition carefully, and an able speech it is from his point of view. But I do not find anywhere in it, except on two occasions, that he refers to the question, and one is the menace of our neighbours to the south of us, and the other is the policy that we have adopted in our trade relations with Great Britain. Now I want to know if hon. gentlemen opposite are willing that the preferential tariff shall go ? Certainly if it is to go, there should be a resolution of this House moved by some one who believes mat the preferential tariff is bad for Canada, and that it ought to be abrogated.


Duncan Cameron Fraser



Do not mind asking anybody except yourselves. If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden, Halifax) believes that, let him spring to his feet and move such a resolution, and let us have a vote on it and then we will see. But not one of the hon. gentlemen opposite dare do it, and I will tell you why. They pretend that good results have not followed from the preferential trade policy, but they know right well that there is not a man in Canada who ought to be allowed to vote, who does not believe that that policy was a step in advance ; who does not believe that that policy has done more than anything else to bind together Canada and the motherland and to make this mighty empire what it is. Hon. gentlemen opposite are afraid to move a resolution against that policy. They know that if they did so, they would be deserted by the crowds that used to follow them shouting that they were the only British-connection men in this country. These gentlemen opposite, for the

sake of their own standing in the community should cease condemning the operation of the preferential tariff, or else, they should declare boldly against it.

There is another difficulty in this resolution moved by the leader of the opposition. He speaks of ' a declared policy for labour, for agriculture, for manufactures and industries.' You will notice that ' labour ' was not included in the resolution moved by Sir John Macdonald. Of course, if all the other industries spoken of in that resolution were benefited or adequately protected, then labour would be protected if the national policy was a true policy. The industries mentioned cover all the walks of life in which men are engaged, and how are you going to help labour if you do not help the industries of Canada. The one is a part of the other. I suppose the hon. leader of the opposition thought that he might catch the labour vote by saying that he would protect labour. How can you protect labour ?


John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)


By preventing Chinamen from competing with Canadian labour. You have not been listening to the member for Vancouver (Mr. Smith).


Duncan Cameron Fraser



I have listened to him and I have before now given expression to my views on that question, and if the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Haggart) thinks Canada is so small that it is going to be ruined by a few Chinamen, he has a miserable idea of Canada. It is true that there are other questions which enter into the question of Chinese immigration. There is the moral question, which is of great importance, and which has to be considered as well as the question of Chinese competition. Does the hon. gentleman seriously believe that Chinese labour is going to interfere with the labour market of Canada ? If he does not, then his interjection has no meaning. Now, here is a curious thing in the resolution moved by the leader of the opposition. He is going to have a ' declared policy,' but at the same time he will firmly maintain the necessity for such protection as will at all times secure the Canadian market for Canadians. His resolution says :

That this House affirms its belief in a policy of reciprocal trade preference within the empire.

Surely the hon. gentleman knows that again and again it has been declared by the statesmen of England that the only preference that they will have with the empire is a preference on the lines of their own fiscal policy. Hon. gentlemen opposite would raise the tariff higher than it is now, and as the hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden, Halifax) said: We will pay for everything in cash. Then, the British manufacturers would have the money which we paid ; our manufacturers would have the increased advantage that would be obtained from the higher scale of duty, and the man who bought in Canada would pay the tax in both direc-Mr. FRASER.

tions. I submit that you cannot have a high protective policy in Canada and at the same time get free access to the markets of all the colonies. It is nonsense for any one to claim that the two things will go together. Sir John Macdonald wanted reciprocity, for he was too astute a statesman to think that with a high protection in Canada we could get free access to the markets of Great Britain and her colonies. If that be the case, what then ? It is quite evident that we cannot protect our manufacturers by a high protective duty in Canada, and while maintaining the high protective duty get freer access to the markets of Great Britain and her colonies.

I notice that hon. gentlemen on the opposite side of the House are now doing a good deal of talking about our German trade. They have appealed in this country to the feelings of Englishmen as against another race ; they raised the Catholic question and the anti-Catholic question, and having failed in all these they now fall back on the German cry. Well, I do not think that they will succeed in that any more than they did in the others. It was absolutely necessary, in order that we should establish this preferential policy and make it effective, that the Canadian government should do as it has done. If you look at the quantity of trade which we did with Germany, you will see at a glance that the advantages we gained under the preferential tariff were much greater than any ad-, vantage we could gain without the preference and still maintaining our former relations with German trade. So much for that. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden, Halifax) stated that there was great dissatisfaction in the United States, and I was glad to hear him declare that he was against retaliation, but while he said that, his whole argument simply meant retaliation. In fact, when you read the resolution of the hon. member (Mr. Borden, Halifax) carefully, you will see that it is about the same thing as the resolution proposed by the hon. member for North Norfolk. Against whom is he going to put up this high tariff wall if it is not against the people of the American republic? I admit that something may be said in favour of retaliation. When I look at how the American people have treated us at times, my own personal feeling arises, but in my calmer moments the thought occurs to me that I would be serving my country better by refusing to hit back. There are times when we have to possess our souls in patience, and on the whole it would seem to me that the more cordial and more friendly our relations are with the United States the better it is for both countries. Our neighbours in the adjoining republic are, I believe, learning a little, and when I read the other day the following extract from the Boston ' Transcript,' it occurred to me that it might afford food for thought:

The duty preventing the importation ot iron and coal from Nova Scotia-England, Germany

and Noi'way are ready to supply us with iron. There has not been a single day when pig-iron has not been as cheap in Boston as in Pittsburg. We could have bought it if we had not been prevented by the duty, which for a long time was $6.72, and is now $4.00 per ton. Of course this duty has not been paid by the companies, but has been passed along to the communities, which have had to pay higher prices for the manufactures. Instead of wooden fences everywhere we should have had iron; instead of wooden beams in buildings we should have had iron, And the iron manufacture should never have gone to Pittsburg. For all these reasons he urged the legislature to indorse the Babcock bill and reciprocity with Canada.

This is from a republican source. If I may speak personally for my own province,

I might say that what we want in Nova Scotia is to get that market in the New England states, and I believe that the thinking people in the New England states are desirous in their own interest to have our trade. Be that as it may, I am of the opinion now and have always held the opinion that the first question with us in framing any policy is to do that which is best for Canada.

The hon. member for Toronto Centre (Mr. Brock) stated that this government had made a reduction of 2-22 on the general average duty of 18 per cent under the Conservative government, and he called this a reduction of 2 per cent. Well, if a reduction of 2 on 18 per cent means ' 2 per cent,' my arithmetic is at fault. It is in fact a reduction of about one-tenth, and consequently it does not mean a reduction of 2 per cent as the hon. gentleman stated. Now, to reduce the tariff by one-tenth was a substantial reduction for the present government to make. If any gentleman here heard that the town council of any city in which he lived, had conducted the business as well as it ever was conducted, and at the end of the year made a reduction of one-tenth in the taxation, he certainly would say that that was a good council and he would vote for it again. One-tenth reduction means a great deal. It may not be as great a reduction as some of the more advanced supporters of the government would ask, but for myself, as I have already said in this House, I prefer to stand by the government that is proceeding in that direction and that is making progress. Let me ask hon. gentlemen opposite, would they go back to the tariff as it was in 1896, suppose they got into power, or what would they do ? If the present tariff is unsatisfactory to them, what would be satisfactory ? I submit that the people of the country are entitled to know that. One of the things that appeals to me in the present tariff is that we have made an advance, and that the people of this country understand that and know that they have security because we are not continually tinkering with the tariff. That there must be changes, and changes in the direction in which we have gone, there is no doubt. But I would ask hon. gentlemen 60

opposite : If the great capital that is being invested to-day throughout the Dominion is not the best indication that the position this government took when they made that reduction in the tariff is in the interest of the people of Canada ?

Nothing has amused me more in this debate than the speech of the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell). I believe he told the House that he would give very little opposition to the present tariff. So well he might give little opposition to the present tariff. He comes from a county in which there are extensive coal, iron and woollen industries, and if he were here he would have to admit that never in the county of Pictou were the conditions so prosperous as they are now. The farmers are better off; they can sell all they can raise. For three or four years, under Conservative rule, the Steel Company in New Glasgow did not pay dividends on even its preferred stock. What happened ? The present government came into power. It was said that the works were going to be shut down, that the windows would be closed, and one good Conservative even purchased the shutters. Instead of that, the works have been so busy that for two years they could not permit the men to be idle on Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day, and the company has not only been paying dividends on its preferred stock, but has been wiping out all its past indebtedness. Hon. gentlemen have only to look at the newspapers to see the position of the stock to-day. Stock which would have sold at 10 cents if hon. gentlemen opposite had remained in power will easily bring 200. All this has been accomplished under the present tariff. Would the hon. member for Pictou want to make any change in that ? Then, for the last five years the coal mines of Nova Scotia have been worked, I think I can say with truth, to a greater extent than ever before, and the prices obtained for the coal and also the wages paid to the workmen have been larger than for years. We have one or two woollen factories in Pictou, and there is no cry from them that the present tariff is not working well. They are working full time, and the same thing is true of Nova Scotia generally.

In the face of this condition of things, do hon. gentlemen opposite advocate going back to the old tariff ? What declaration are they going to make as to what their policy is ? What hope are they going to hold out to the investors and workers ? Are they going to change the present state of things in which the Dominion of Canada is better off than ever before ? If so, they are not going to get even the most rabid protectionist to vote for them. 1 believe the people of Canada generally, protectionists as well as free traders, feel that the present state of things is satisfactory. For eighteen years the people of this country were taught the trade question by hon. gentlemen opposite as well as by hon. gentle-

men on this side. There is this much at least to be said, that we have passed the stage of argument, and there is not a man in Canada, with this result of the tariff before his eyes, who will not say that the present is a bad time to talk about protection. 1 admit that a readjustment may be necessary from time to time, and I will be a protectionist with hon. gentlemen opposite, and go in for any duties they name on this condition, that every man who makes a hat shall receive in return by way of bounty as much as all the other men who supply any article he uses will take from him. That is a protection which I will hold up both hands for.- Of course, we shall never have it, because that is the way the Creator left the world at first; but is any other condition fair, in the struggle of life ?

The hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bour-assa) said that the question of the tariff was out of politics-that it was forced upon us at the present time. It can never be out of politics. There is one thing that every public man in Canada must look to-that the predominating force in Canada in a few years will be in the west. We in the older provinces may look at it as we please, but the mighty domain beyond Lake Superior will in a few years control not only the trade and commerce of the country, but this parliament of Canada; and I submit that as low a tariff as possible is necessary for the prosperity of that great country/ All classes must be equitably dealt with. The farmer must be dealt with so as not to do injury to the manufacturer, and the manufacturer must be dealt with so as not to do injury to the farmer. That is a ground on which any man in Canada can stand before the electors, and that is the position of the present government.

There is another thing that we must not forget. After all, principles underlie action. Taxation is for the benefit of every man in the country; and while I admit that you can never have the taxation so adjusted that it will fall equitably on every man in Canada, yet that is the object which we should as nearly as possible have in view. These things will exist under any finite government in the world; but the present government have made this reduction, and have made it in the interest of the consumer. Take, for example, the ordinary articles of life. Take a man's clothing, and the iron he uses, and see the remarkable reduction that has taken place in these two items.

I was struck by what my hon. friend from North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) said.

I am sorry he is not present so that I could say in his presence what I am going to say now. I think it is only fair with friends and opponents alike, that we should speak out our views of what they say. I regret that my hon. friend has seen fit to turn himself inside out with such a bad result. I do not think that all his good work performed in the past for the sanc-Mr. FRASER.

tity of the Sabbath and the chastity of the home will ever compensate for the words he uttered the other day. I think that the indications he gave of the struggles he underwent when this question came up were, if not indicative of moral degeneracy, at least laughable. I can understand an honest man wavering between two sets of opinions, wanting to find out the exact state of things and judge accordingly, but I cannot understand that state of mind which could urge such a man to make a speech such as that we have heard from the hon. member for North Norfolk.

I listened with a great deal of pleasure to my hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bour-assa). He found a friend in the hou. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell), and at once took that hon. gentleman to his bosom.

But I think he might have spared this House the little lecture he gave us as to what the right hon. the First Minister should do when he goes to the other side. Circumstances will indicate what he should do. But there is one thing on which I must take strong issue with the hon. gentleman. He said that England wanted everything from us and gave us nothing, that she was continually imposing her conditions on us and giving us nothing in return. Well, I am not going to vaunt my attachment to the old land, but I do not think that any Canadian ought to have made such a statement. Whatever may be said of the policy of Great Britain in other respects, he is a poor student of her history who does not see that, so far as her colonies are concerned, she has always done what she conceived to be to the best in their interests. I was reading the life of Sir William Moles-worth the other day, and I would commend that work to my hon. friend from Labelle. In it he will find a description of what Buffer and others did when there were two camps in English public life-one which looked on the colonies as places furnishing appointments and offices for Englishmen, as places intended by Divine Providence for Englishmen to rule over, and the other which took a broader and more intelligent view, and which believed that these colonies were destined to be great self governing allies of the old land. That struggle ended in Britain giving us all we enjoy as colonies, and particularly a freedom of action equal to her own. Did the hou. gentleman stop to consider for a moment what are the privileges we have obtained from Great Britain. Never have we been asked to contribute a dollar for her army and navy. Yet, even if my hon. friend from Labelle were the poorest lad from the poorest hut of Canada, he would find in any part of the world, should he be subjected to any indignity, every ship of the mighty nation to whom we belong and every soldier turned out to see that his case was righted just as if he had been born and reared in Buckingham Palace. Is that i not enough ? What are the other privileges

we have. We enjoy a parliament clothed, except in a few instances where these powers might conflict with the interests of the motherland, with powers as absolute as those of great Britain herself. I come from a province to which Great Britain, as early as 1758, gave us onr own parliament. I refer to the province of Nova Scotia, which was given in that year a house of assembly with full control over all the local affairs of that province. I make bold to say that the amount of money spent by Great Britain in building up her colonies, in protecting them from time to time, in looking after their interests and keeping them under her eye just as much as the islands on which her own people live, has been more than we can repay during a life time. What if we were thrown on our own resources ? What would be the result if Canada to-day were unfortunate enough to be a nation with only five and a half million people ? Take our people, with the desire they have to better themselves in all parts of the world, men from the maritime provinces sailing our ships and going to every part of the globe- what if they had to be protected by Canadian money and men. I think that the hon. gentleman might have saved the House that remark. I think he would have been wiser had he studied a little deeper the institutions under which we live. Had he done so, he would have appreciated better the glory of that nation which casts its protecting aegis over us, and would have realized what an advantage it is to Canadians to have a claim on the strength of the empire equal to that of every citizen of Great Britain.

It might not be amiss to take a short resume of the history of Canada since 1896. What has been the programme of our friends opposite from that date down to the present. The first year they predicted that by destroying the national policy we would bring the greatest disasters on the people. We heard the wails coming up to this House, which no doubt gladdened the hearts of these hon. gentlemen. But when they found that their predictions were falsified, they at once charged us with having adopted their policy. Let me point out to these hon. gentlemen that if all they have said since 1896 be true, they cannot, with any regard for decency or logic, vote for this resolution. By this resolution they declare that the present conditions are unsatisfactory. It appears now that that state of things which they said up to 1896 was the glory of the country is an unsatisfactory condition. I would like them to show in what respect it is unsatisfactory. They must either say that the present policy is not the same as that which existed previous to 1896 or else that it is satisfactory. I care not which horn of the dilemma they take. They must either logically say ; you have adopted our policy but it is unsatisfactory, and therefore all that we taught in the past was false, or

you have not adopted our policy, your policy is different from ours, and we were not telling the truth when we accused you of stealing our clothes. I do not care which position the hon. gentlemen opposite take. I suppose that the latter would be more consonant with the facts, but in either case they are condemned out of their own mouth.

As time went on they found that their attacks on our policy would not do. They found an answer to those attacks coming from every factory that was working overtime, from the farmers who had good markets for their crops, from our working men who were in no lack of employment, from our lumbermen who are today paying men double the wages they did in 1896. They were, therefore, obliged to change their tune, and they made the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Tarte) the burden of their new policy of attack. All through Ontario, and in some parts of the lower provinces, they depicted him in colours of the blackest description. He was a bad man, a man that must be shunned, who went into politics for the purpose of doing evil and doing it continually. Hisi very presence breathed corruption and death. A loathsome pestilence followed In his footsteps, and he required to be put down and kept down. Well, Mr. Speaker, there are two ways in which we can try a man in this House. In the first place, we can try him in the Public Accounts Committee. I have been chairman of that committee since 1896. I need not mention to hon. gentlemen opposite how easy it is for them to get witnesses. The exchequer of the country is at their disposal, out of which to pay the expense of bringing these witnesses. Every facility is given them to prove mismanagement and misconduct on the part of the minister in charge of any department, and of those under his control. Well, not one word has ever come before the Public Accounts Committee to show that the Minister of Public WTorks ever took one cent dishonestly of public money. He made mistakes no doubt, and would be the first himself to acknowledge it. Who has not made mistakes, but I put him in contrast with the man who held the same position when hon. gentlemen opposite were in office, and who had to leave, not only his position in the government, but public life altogether. Is it fair and honourable to single out an hon. gentleman for attack and suspicion and prejudice on vague and general grounds, when not the slightest proof of anything to justify any of these attacks can be brought against him. I care not whether a man comes from the bad province of Quebec or the good province of Ontario or elsewhere, we should judge him according to his merits, we should set his virtues against his vices, and decide which weighs down the scale. But neither in the Public Accounts Committee nor in this

House "has any man dared to say that a stiver of the money belonging to the people has been shown to have gone astray under the administration of the Minister of Public Works. Not only has not a single charge been made against him, but none has been made against any officer under him. I say then that when a man in all these years has been subjected to the severest criticism to which a man in the position of the Minister of Public Works is exposed, when he has been exposed to the searching questions and eloquent lash of hon. gentlemen opposite and has come unscathed through that ordeal, would it not be appropriate for hon. gentlemen opposite to ask the government to give them a day of humiliation so that they might pray to be forgiven for the wrongs they have committed and the unjust and slanderous attacks they have made.

There is another theme on which these hon. gentlemen opposite have tried to regain favour among the electorate, and that is electoral corruption. Everywhere, they claim, Liberals were corrupt. Well, let me give you one illustration. I had the great pleasure of taking part in an election about four months ago In the county of York, New Brunswick. At the election of 1901, two gentlemen ran and the Liberal candidate was returned by 70 of a majority. That election was set aside and the same candidates again presented themselves. And the same gentleman opposed him, Rev. Dr. McLeod, a clergyman of the Free Baptist Church. After the election was set aside and when the new election was coming on, the Conservatives came and said : We must run the next election without using money, and we want you Liberals to agree to that. And the Liberals said : Certainly, for it is very hard to carry an election on the lines to which you have forced us. The Conservatives had held the county for fifteen years. Both sides agreed to run an honest election, and the fact that there has been no petition, is proof that it was an honest election. But, whereas, with money used on both sides the Liberals came out with a majority of only 70, when the depraved conduct of the friends of the hon. gentlemen opposite, by which the county was held for fifteen years, was removed, the Liberals carried the county by nearly a thousand. With money used, of course they could beat us, for they had more money and better methods than we had. But when no money was used, we carried the county with a rush never known before. So the Conservatives dropped that; they got their commission of judges but they laid no complaints.

There is a matter to which I refer with a good deal of pain, and that is the manner in which elections are carried on among the English speaking people of some of the lower province and Ontario constituencies, and the manner in which they are carried on in Quebec. In the election to which I Mr. FRASER.

have just referred, a cry was raised against Sir Wilfrid Laurier because he is a French Catholic, and against his government because it was said to be under French domination. I suppose there are not more than five unsanctified Frenchmen in the whole county, so that the Conservatives felt that they lost very little by abusing the French and by raising the cry of danger from French power. I told the people that I was not afraid of the French, for there were two English speaking people in the country to one Frenchman, and I thought that we could take care of them- we did it at Waterloo, and I thought we could do it again. But think of a man asking the electors to vote for him on the ground that there was danger to two-thirds of the people from one-third of the people. Are we not equal to the French Canadians physically ? And there are two of us to one of them. Are they our superiors intellectually or morally, that we of the majority need to be afraid ? All I can say is that men who were deluded by appeals of that kind-and many honest men in Ontario and the maritime provinces were so deluded- should have a course of education in the primary schools, or an outpouring of grace that will convert them ? But that is not exactly what happens in Quebec to-day. In the general election of 1891, Mr. Loy, a Presbyterian elder was returned by the county of Beauharnois, Quebec, though his opponent was the man who is lovingly called ' the Beauharnois boy ' by his friends on the other side of the House. I do not know the relative strength of the races there, but 1 think I am safe in saying that at least eighty per cent of the electors of the county of Beauharnois are Catholics and French. I am glad to be told by an hon. friend from Quebec province that that Is not an exaggerated estimate. And in that county an English speaking Presbyterian elder was returned. That was what might be expected, for a Presbyterian anywhere ought to be returned. There is an election going on there to-day, and I make the statement on the very best information that the cry that is raised against Mr. Loy is that the French Canadian must vote down this man because he is a Protestant and an Englishman. The orators on the Conservative side are asking the electors if they will disgrace their race by returning such a man. And a circular containing a similar appeal has been issued. I appeal to hon. gentlemen opposite : Is that fair warfare ? Are you going to build up this country by such appeals ? Are you even going to help yourselves eventually ? Do you not realize that there is enough intelligence among Canadians to break down that kind of thing sooner or later-aye, and sooner rather than later ? I may have my national prejudices, but I should be blind to the lessons of the world's history if I did not give every man the place to which his character and abil-

ity show him to be deserving. Hon. gentlemen opposite used to say that they were the only people who could bind this country together. And a little later on, I will make a statement as to what the present premier and the present government have done in the way of unifying and building up the Dominion. But, besides their boasts, there was one other ruse of political warfare to which hon. gentlemen opposite have always resorted. When everything else failed, they attacked the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir Richard Cartwright). The Minister of Public Works, (Hon. Mr. Tarte) they seem to agree, is a bad man, but in those arts that make the capable bandit the Minister of Trade and Commerce, according to these hon. gentlemen, excels. The hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell), the other day, when he had exhausted those topics which do not throw much light upon the subject under debate-and on both sides there is a great deal said that may not be to the point-turned his gun of eloquence upon the Minister of Trade and Commerce. He happened to misquote that hon. gentleman-not wilfully of course. I have been twelve years in parliament, and there has not been a single year in which that same thing has not been tried. I have seen the rat attempt to grapple with the hon. the mouse to bite the cat ; I have seen the gull smash itself against the lighthouse without putting out the light-all these things have X seen typified in the attacks upon the hon. minister. I am not his apologist, nor is any apology necessary. But may I throw out a word of kindly honest, and I trust effective advice by assuring hon. gentlemen opposite that they weaken themselves by every one of these attacks. I have just learned that hon. gentlemen opposite in the next election are to have flags upon which there will be certain mottoes. Through a friend, I have obtained one of those mottoes. I understand that it is to be used at the family altar in Conservative homes and carried in the elections on their banners :

Abuse Sir Dick with spite, for he,

With truth and wit hath crippled thee.

What has been the result of all the criticisms of hon. gentlemen opposite ? The government stand as they never did before in the affections of the people. The first reason is that they have made a substantial reduction in the tariff-not so great a reduction as X wanted, but such a reduction as, considering the difficulties of the situation, must be regarded as substantial. Moreover, since this government took office, we have had a clean period. I think there is not a Conservative in the country but is as thankful as his Liberal fellow citizens- if he had grace enough to say it that Canada has not been smirched in the eyes of the world since 1896. We may have, as hon. gentlemen opposite say, weaknesses on behalf of certain members of the government. But the present government have been on trial and are now on trial, and, at least, nothing has been shown to be wrong. For my part, I am ready to trust the government that, since 1896, have done their work in all departments honestly and well ; I am going to trust them until I see something wrong in connection with their work. But they have done far more than this, they have settled some questions that were very disturbing. One of these was the binder twine question. For some reason hon. gentlemen opposite have not lately talked much about binder twine. It never was a very big question, but I am thankful it is no longer with us-this question of binder twine and also the question of barbed wire. I remember the tears that were shed by hon. gentlemen opposite about binder twine.

I think I remember once seeing the hon. member for South Leeds (Mr. Taylor), after delivering himself upon this binder twine question, going out, and the copious tears that were falling from his eyes as he went out were a sight to behold. True, the present government took away the duty altogether in order to rectify some irregularities, and it came out all right; so I will say no more about it. The government did this great service to Canada by removing those questions from the arena of politics.

I said not that only has no corruption been shown against the Minister of Public Works, but none has been shown against the Minister of the Interior, nor against the Minister of Railways and Canals, nor against any of the members of the government. We had an effort made to show that there was something wrong in the Yukon. We had speeches made so long that they baffled time, and what came of it ? Nothing. There was every opportunity given, though the truth of the matter is this, Mr. Speaker, that the opposition are not able to understand how it is that the present government are honest with the opportunities they have. The whole training of our hon. friends opposite was in the contrary direction, and they cannot believe, and won't believe, that the present government are any better than they were. They say : With those opportunities we would

do it, and they are no better than we are. But none of their suspicions have materialized.

Well, there is something more. I say that the present government-and for that most is due to the premier-have done more in these few years to mould together the various races and creeds of this Dominion than was ever done in the same space of time, not only in Canada, but in any other country. Read the history of Great Britain. There, as here, tht substratum of the race was the Celt. In Great Britain the first element of the population was the Celt as the foundation, then came the Saxon and Norman, and it took between 500 and 600 years to mould these people together,

In the last ten years, with the same elements in Canada, the Celt (Irish and Scotch), the English and the French, we have made advances in the same direction such as were never made before in any country in the world ; and to the premier is largely due the credit for that. With a broad view he looked out upon the whole country, not to the little interests that surround him in his own home, in his own parish, in his own province; but having in view the upbuilding here of a strong community where every element will coalesce, and he said : That shall be my life's aim. I make the statement boldly that if no other result was gained to Canada except what was done in that direction, the present government have done more than any other, and will live when history comes to be written as the great moulders of the races and creeds of Canada into homegenity. We have learned, on the Protestant side, to respect our fellow citizens of the Roman Catholic faith as we never did before; and they have learned that after all there is no law against either our existence or our views. We live with them and understand them better, because in our social relations we find that after all they have vices and virtues like our own. I say we have the components here, parts with which to build up a Canadian nationality which will be greater than any one of the individual races, and to Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the leader of this government, is due the praise of making that end attainable.

There is something more they have done, for the betterment of Canada. They have inspired a hope in young and old, particularly in the young, such as they never had before. Did hon. gentlemen opposite ever think of the amount of capital that has been invested in Canada since 1890 ? I cannot state how much it is. But X will speak of Nova Scotia, and I will say that in the large industries there they want almost unlimited capital and they can get it. Why, there is a contest now between Nova Scotia, Toronto and Montreal as to who will get the chance of investing money. I understand it is the same in Ontario, it is the same in Quebec. Where then is the unrest, where is the unsatisfactory state of things ? If the hon. gentlemen opposite are correct, these men are fools to risk their capital in this country when such an unsatisfactory state of things exists. There is not a manufacturer in this House, there is not a farmer in this House, there is not a workingman in this House, there is not a professional man in this House who does not stand better to-day by at least 20 per cent than he did in 1896, in his worldly goods, and in every other respect. I want any manufacturer in this House to stand up and say that he is no better off and has not done a better business since 1896, than previously. I want any farmer to Mr. FRASER.


say if he is not in a better position to-day than in 1896; I want any professional man to say if he is not in a better position to-day than in 1896. I am not asking questions to which I expect a negative answer from hon. gentlemen opposite. I do not mean to say that the government did all that. Hon. gentlemen opposite used to say>

that; but I am asking these questions for the purpose of showing that there is no sense in saying that the present state of things is unsatisfactory.

Business men are agreed at least that when matters are moving in the right direction in their interest they are not willing to make a change. Why then is the tariff unsatisfactory ? I think we must come to the conclusion that it is unsatisfactory because hon. gentlemen opposite are not in a position to claim the credit of present prosperity and to ride on the crest of this mighty wave that is passing over Canada. I am bold enough to make this other statement, that we in Canada do not feel depressions as people do elsewhere. In the unlimited sources of supplies that we have, in the soil, in the forest, in the fisheries, in iron and coal, and other minerals, I venture to state that, never at least for two or three generations, will any change that may occur in the direction of bad times strike Canada as it will any other country. We will be the suppliers of the food that the world needs; we will be increasing all the time the quantity of food stuffs that we shall produce; we can, with the preference we give Great Britain, undersell any other country in the market. They will want to purchase articles from us and sell us articles in return, because they know they have a margin that other countries have not.

We have a brighter hope in our country at the present time than we ever had before. I am not a prophet, but I think I see indications in the history of the last five years that Canadians are learning as they never have yet what a country they have, and what marvellous possibilities are before us. If I were to follow the precedents of gentlemen opposite, I would even claim credit for what nature has done. I was down home the other day, down to the province of this whole confederation, down to the province that, for its size, will continue to be in advance of any other province of this confederation. The sunny ways of the premier, if I was a Tory, I would say have been productive in that province of the result that even the robins refuse to go away in winter, and continue to chirp and sing in that province, which is the Florida of Canada. This one thing I say with confidence, that from the Atlantic to the Pacific there is more of hope in Canada and for Canada than ever before. Men feel now that their home here is the best. We used to hear a great deal of talk about loyalty and all that. Now we have the manlier and stronger sentiment that says :

This is the best country in the world, and here I will remain. We see among our young men the conviction that in Canada, such are the advances this country has been making, they are in the line of greater pi-omotion, if they stay here, than if they go elsewhere. It used to be thought in the gloomy days when hon. gentlemen opposite were in power, that the only avenue to success for a young man was in the United States. But now there is difficulty in filling up the positions that are calling for capable and honest young men. Young men now say to themselves : This is a

country where we can succeed. Is it not wonderful that hon. gentlemen opposite, feeling their pockets better lined than they ever were before, finding that they are expanding their business and making wealth, still turn to the weak and beggarly elements of a defeated and defunct Conservative policy, and call by resolution upon the people of this country to accept-what ? A declared policy ? No. This country is moving in the right direction, moving in the direction which this government has given it making men mutually respectful of each other. May it be ours sometimes, to forget the bitterness of party strife; may it be ours to discover the good that exists in our political opponents, and may our political opponents see the good that is in us. Let us at least hold out this hope to the people of Canada : That our tariff shall be arranged equitably, and that we shall not benefit any man or any class of men at the expense of others. Let us do injustice to none, especially the poor. And, Sir, when the history of Canada is written, let us hope that the historian will be able to write that the last five years was the proudest period in our history. Sir, we are advancing. We have seen an hon. gentleman in this House who rose above the ordinary surroundings that make for that civilization which people choose to call society; but we have seen him so forget his ideas of the common affairs of life as actually to buy a dress coat and appear at a great social function. Does not that prove that this country is advancing socially as well as materially and morally. Let it be ours to help on the progress of Canada. The hon. mover of the resolution w-ill find no response in this House even from men who have averred an inkling for protection like the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) and like the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bour-assa). They will have none of this resolution. It is only intended to catch the extremists in one direction, but the country is too broad to support such a platform as that. I tell the hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden, Halifax) that if he seeks to pitch his tent on the graveyard of the issues previous to 1896, he will find that that graveyard has blossomed from a cemetery into a beautiful garden. We are advancing so fast that the government under which this progress has

occurred shall receive my confidence and vote. The amendment moved by the leader of the opposition does not commend itself to moderate protectionists even. The protectionists in this House are content while things are moving in the splendid manner they are moving at present, and the protectionists in the country are thinking more of making money than about disturbing the trade relations of this great and now prosperous country. They would be mad to raise an issue that would defeat their purpose.


Mr. E. G.@

PORTER (West Hastings) moved the adjournment of the debate.


Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned. On motion of the Prime Minister, House adjourned at 6 p.m. .

Tuesday, April 1, 1902.

March 26, 1902