He must have been trying to pull the wool over his eyes, as a matter of fact there are tons of Canadian wool looking for buyers. He went on to say that it was doilbtful if we could
attempt to manufacture in Canada m competition witli England and other countries. I really think that we cannot wonder at the fact that our population does not grow as rapidly as it should when an hon. member of this House, no doubt a representative man from the province from which he comes, is so pessimistic, or so lacking in ambition for the progress of his own province, that he discourages the establishment of industries in his own province, or in the country. Can we wonder that so many people from the province ot Nova Scotia 'are to be found in the city of Boston and in the New England states . I think this is one reason why the people ot the province of Nova Scotia are said to be unambitious in regard to progress in manufacturing. The hon. gentleman read some extracts from some ancient works giving harrowing accounts of the condition of the working people of England many years ago. Well, I think there can be no question that had he given us the facts of the case relating to the condition of the working people of England he would have pointed out that it was owing to the fact that the corn laws were in existence and that food was dear and difficult to get. This is no argument against protection. Those who are in favour of protection are in favour of enabling the workingman to live as cheaply as he possibly can and he could not live cheaply if the articles of necessity were taxed heavily. The hon. gentleman went on to refer to the great benefit which the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher) had conferred upon the country by expending large sums in carrying out cold storage. He did not tell us that cold storage was established by the preceding government, that it was then in its infancy and that a moderate sum was all that was necessary to endeavour to carry it into effect. He failed also to tell us at the same time that the leaders of the opposition of that day when, ?20,000 a vear was being expended, did all they pos sibly could to prevent it. They pitched into the government and opposed them nr every way possible for expending so much money uselessly and recklessly. If he had told us this I think we could have discounted some of the great praise he gave to the hon. Minister of Agriculture. Listening to the hon. gentleman's speech I was at a loss to understand whether he was a protectionist or a free trader, or half way between. At the close of his speech he announced himself1 as a free trader pure and simple, but, when we consider that he wanted, in the early part of his speech, more advantages for the fishermen, a greater expenditure of public money, and that he was unwilling to take the duty off coal, I think we will agree that these demands are hardly consistent with the profession he made in favour of free trade. He made some reference to the Intercolonial Railway and he made a strong appeal in favour of the Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair) on account of the abrogation of a certain arrangement with the Canadian Pacific Railway. I am not conversant with railway matters. I am not living anywhere near the Intercolonial Railway, but, I think the only conclusion that any practical business man can come to in the matter is to judge by the results of the running of the railway, and when we consider that during this last year there lias been an increase in the capital expenditure of $3,652,313.46 and that in addition to that there was a deficit of $488,186.77, we must believe that there is something radically wrong witli the working of the railway. Last week while in Montreal I happened to meet at the Windsor hotel a prominent and a practical railway man, one who is thoroughly conversant with the running of railways and has been for years. I will say, while not wishing to disclose his identity, that he is not connected with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He gave it as his decided opinion that there was no railway on the continent of America that was so badly managed as the Intercolonial Railway. I do not think I need refer to that matter any further than to say that if we carried out the idea of the hon. member for Cape Breton (Mr. Kendall) with reference to the mining of coal, if the government took into their hands the coal industry and managed it in the manner that they manage the Intercolonial Railway,
I am quite sure there would not be a business man in this country but would be anxious and desirous that it should be taken out of their hands as quickly as possible. When In Halifax last fall, I happened to see in one of the newspapers of that city a letter written by a prominent commercial man, a man not in public life, but a practical commercial man and a supporter of the present government, as I believe, who was writing in the public press advocating that the Intercolonial Railway should be taken out of the hands of the government and handed over to the Canadian Pacific Railway to manage. There can be no other reason for his wishing that that course should be adopted than that the management of the Intercolonial Railway by the government was so outrageously bad, so detrimental to the best interests of the country, so injurious to it in every way that the only course to be taken by practical business men would be to take the road out of the hands of the government and have it managed by some people who could manage it properly. I have no desire to emulate the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat in making a long speech. When I listen to a long speech like that I am reminded of a verse in the psalms of David which says :
A man full of words shall not prosper upon the earth.
Evil shall hunt the wicked person to overthrow him.
If any are to follow me, I hope they will take that to heart and carry out the lesson.
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were properly understood, English capital would be seeking investment over there all the while.
The supply of British capital for Canadian manufacturing industries would also help to find employment for that large class of young men who, we are told, unable to find it at home and being unsuited to agricultural work, are seeking their fortunes in more southern climes.
I do not think we need wonder that British capital should fail to come to Canada. There is no sentiment about capital. Just as water seeks its own level, capital seeks where it can find the most profitable employment, and it certainly will not come to Canada so long as the present condition of things continues to exist. AVe need still less wonder at capital not coming to this country when we find our Finance Minister in 1898 using these words :
I am afraid there is no rest for the protected manufacturer. I am inclined to think, Sir, that he will find eternal vigilance is the price of his protection. He must he on guard all the time against the attack he knows must always come.
Capital is a most sensitive thing and will certainly not seek employment in Canada so long as we have a Finance Minister imbued with these ideas. One would suppose that a Canadian Finance Minister would desire to see his country prosperous and be happy to do all he possibly could to encourage native industry in its endeavour to find employment, but we find the contrary to be the case under the present regime. Then again we find the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) saying :
Some of the woollen factories are closing up. They say the reason Is that they have not sufficient protection. I say it is not. If they cannot live on a 23 per cent tariff, the sooner they shut up the better.
But another strange .feature about some of the supporters of the government is that while they are loud mouthed in their professions of free trade, we find them very anxious for protection on certain things. AVe find, for instance, the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Oliver) wanting protection for the farmers who raise horses. AVell, if I were to apply to him the language of the Minister of the Interior, I would say that if our western people cannot breed horses profitably under present conditions, they had better give it up altogether. Then there is the hon. member for Westminster (Mr. Morrison), who wants protection on lumber and lead products. To him also I could apply the language of the Minister of the Interior. There is another western member, the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Smith), who wants protection for Canadian labourers against the Chinese. But if he is to be governed by the doctrine announced by the Minister of the Interior, then if white labour in British Columbia cannot compete with the Chinese the sooner it leaves British Columbia and goes somewhere else where it can get employment, the better. But that doctrine will never make Canada prosperous. Until, as an hon. member on this'-side said some time ago, we are actuated by a broad spirit, until one and all desire that the whole of the country shall prosper, that every industry shall flourish, we never can expect to see Canada in the position she ought to occupy. For my part, and the same may be said of all protectionists-in fact it is the keynote of the amendment proposed by the hon. leader of the opposition-we want our farmers protected as well as everybody else. Our farmers have been protected to a considerable extent. They are protected by duties on many of their products such as bacon, cheese and butter. Large sums have been expended on experimental farins in their interest and on arrangements for teaching them how to make cheese and butter profitably. A large staff of men has been employed for this purpose, agricultural colleges have been established at various places, and experimental farms, all at the expense of the Canadian people.
I have no objection to that. On the contrary I am delighted to see it, but if we want Canada to prosper we must not confine our attention to one class. We are all anxious to see the country grow, not only in wealth but in population, and until we are actuated by the broad spirit recommended by one of the members for Toronto, we need not expect this country to attain that degree of prosperity which she ought to enjoy. I do not think I can better close my speech than by quoting something which was said, and so well and so profitably said, by the leader of the opposition. At the outset, I stated that I was not going to make a long speech, and I have only now to quote these words which, perhaps the hon. gentleman from Halifax (Mr. Borden) will pardon my using :
We want to know what will he the policy of this government, as a government, with regard to the fiscal affairs of the country. We want that to he a declared policy so that the people will know what to expect. In asking that we are asking nothing unreasonable or unfair. We want a policy of protection to our labour, agri-culturing, manufacturing and other industries.. We want a policy which will give to our people the advantage in their own market-a policy of Canada for the Canadians ; and Canada for the Canadian means not the less Canada for the empire as well. Because in seeking to promote the development, prosperity and advancement of Canada, we are but doing our duty to that portion of the empire which has been specially committed to our charge. And, lastly, we believe in a policy of mutual or reciprocal trade under whicjj. while protecting Canadian interests, we shall give to and receive from the other portions of the empire preference over foreign goods.
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Mr. Speaker, I have listened with a good deal of interest and pleasure, and, I will admit, with a certain amount of profit, to the discussion on the motion now before you. But I have been amused at the course of reasoning of some hon. gentlemen opposite and
the inconsistencies into which it leads them. The hon. member for North Lanark (Mr. Rosamond) admitted, at the outset of his remarks, that this country was enjoying unbounded and almost unexampled prosperity. Yet, in closing, he told us that unless we adopted a certain policy laid down liy the leader of the opposition, we could not enjoy the prosperity we ought to have. But the hon. gentleman is not different from any of his friends in that they contradict not only each other but themselves. We on this side have been twitted with not being a unit in our opinion, and I am free to admit that we are not a unit on all points. But, if that be a crime, which I certainly do not at all admit, we are not alone in our guilt. The hon. member for South Wentworth (Mr. Smith) opposed all imports and declared that no country could be made rich by imports, ignoring altogether the fact that Great Britain has imports larger than those of any other country, and yet enjoys a great measure of prosperity. The hon. member for Teel (Mr. Blain) took similar ground and said that we ought to adopt a uniform tariff with that of our American friends, implying that if we put a tariff on natural products our people would derive benefit therefrom. In other words, the hon. gentleman would exclude absolutely products from the United States. But the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Brock) stated that he was in favour of a reciprocity treaty, if it could be had. And the hon. member for East Toronto (Mr. Kemp), in opposition to the views of those who would keep out imports, wanted efforts made to increase our trade with Germany. So, Mr. Speaker, you will find diverse views among hon. gentlemen on the other side as well as among supporters of the government. And, if the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) is reported correctly in the newspapers-and I have not seen any contradiction-that hon. gentleman has one set of views for Quebec and another set for Ontario.
I have just a few remarks to make upon the speech of the hon. member for North Lanark, and I shall run over the points hurriedly, endeavouring to follow the good example of the hon. gentleman and speak but briefly. In replying to the hon. member for Cape Breton (Mr. Kendall) the hon. member for North Lanark sought to justify his position by saying that the corn laws of Great Britain had brought that country to a bad condition by making dear the bread of the common people. The hon. gentleman ignored the fact that the resolution of his leader, which he supports would, if carried out, re-establish a system of corn laws in the old land, make food dear in that country, and so tend to bring back the condition of which he speaks. I do not feel bound to justify everything that has been said in the House by hon. members on this side. It is true that some years ago Mr. HOLMES.
they said that the expenditure should be kept down, and that the increase of the debt should be kept within reasonable bounds. I believe that their arguments were good, that they were sincere, and yet I believe that increase of expenditure is perfectly justifiable at the present time. I would remind the House that the late leader of the opposition stated on this floor that the expenditure and the debt of the country must inevitably go on growing with the development of the resources of this country. I am sure that the people will find no fault with the government that increases the debt, so long as its increase is legitimate and honourable, and so long as is not disgraced by such transactions as marked the increase of the debt in connection with the record of the previous administration. I had hoped that my hon. friend from North Lanark would speak more in detail on the tariff on woollens. That is an article witli which he is, of course, familiar. But I can understand his modesty in not alluding to it at length, because it might be said that he was, as the common expression goes, talking shop. But I wish to take issue with the hon. gentleman on that point. I wish to say, and I say it without mental reservation, that, if the woollen manufacturers are not satisfied with a tariff at 23J per cent, and the difference of the freight between the old country and here, which, at the lowest rate, would raise the protection of these manufacturers to 25 per cent, if these woollen manufacturers cannot prosper with that protection in a country like Canada, where woollens are a prime necessity and must be bought-by the people, then, it is time for these manufacturers to turn their investments and their attention to some 'other branch of industry. I was going to say it is a woeful admission for hon. gentlemen to make to this House and this country, to convey the impression that the woollen manufacturers cannot carry on a legitimate business unless they are allowed to tax the people more than 25 per cent on their purchases in this line. The statement is made in the press, and made repeatedly, that the woollen industry is suffering. So far as I have been able to learn, I have not found that statement borne out by the facts, and I ha've grave doubts of the ability of any man to prove it. A short time ago I met within the walls of this House a gentleman who is engaged in the woollen industry. I asked him if he was one of those who objected to the preferential tariff, and if his woollen mill was suffering because of importations. His answer was : No, he was not one of
those who were objecting, and he did not believe that the others had good ground for objecting, because they were so busy they could not fill their orders. I myself could name woollen mills that are working overtime to catch up with the demand and fill the orders that they have. If this is the
state of the case, the woollen manufacturers have no grievance which would justify us in giving them greater protection than they have at present.
1 Reference has been made in the course ot this debate to the action of the government in refusing to yield to the delegations that have come down here asking for an increase in the tariff. As one representing the people, as one representing the masses instead of the classes, I want to express my commendation of the government which has had the manliness to stand up against the pressure that has been brought to bear upon them. I am not alone in voicing that sentiment. I want to quote from a paper of Conservative leaning, the Ottawa ' Journal,' which thus speaks of the attitude of the government upon this question :
This year, the Dominion government holds out against increase of the tariff, to its credit be it said. Manufacturers' hopes were high that from the government would come the. squeak, 'Don't shoot. I'll come down.' But there are to be no tariff changes. Some may think that this is a small thing to put to the credit of a party one of whose slogans while in opposition was 'free trade as they have it in Britain,' but to those who have any conception of the pressure which the government has to withstand, any idea of the force, the persistence, the heat, with which the protected interests urge their demands, the government's stand must appear well worthy of credit. The manufacturers, long with the taste of blood in their mouths, and now fully recovered from the terrors of 189G, are in full scent after the prey. To balk them is no light job.
That quotation is from the Ottawa 'Journal ' whose editor was formerly connected with the ' Toronto ' Mail,' and who now takes an independent position. I want to say further that It seems to me that some of the delegations that come to Ottawa asking for assistance have no other idea than that they should he enabled by law to put their hands in the pockets of the consumers and enrich themselves at the expense of the people. If they had no protection, and if they were not enjoying a certain amount of favouritism already, their request might be reasonable; but it seems to me some of them are decidedly unreasonable. I take as an illustration the cement manufacturers. I have no hostility whatever to the cement men, I would be only too glad to see an industry of that kind flourish to the utmost extent, for cement is an article entering into very general use, and will be much more largely used in the future, because it is being used for new purposes every day. The cement manufacturers came down a short time ago and asked the government for an increase of duty. They have a duty at the present time of 12i cents per 100 pounds, or equal to 421 cents per barrel of 050 pounds. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, when you add the freight of about 30 cents a barrel on imported cement, the Canadian manufacturer ought to be satisfied with a tariff of about 75 cents a barrel on cement.
The resolution presented by the hon. leader of the opposition proclaims that the present tariff is unsatisfactory. Unsatisfactory to whom ? It surely is not unsatisfactory to the manufacturers, who are so busy all over this land that they can scarcely fill their orders. Go into any place in the province of Ontario, at any rate, for which I can speak, and I think I nan say the same for Quebec and the other provinces-go into any of the manufacturing towns in Ontario at the present time, and you will find that all our industries are running to their fullest capacity. I am glad indeed to see that the manufacturers are prospering as they are, because I believe it is due in a measure to the reduction of duty on raw materials, and to the advantages they 'have under the present administration. Therefore the present tariff cannot he unsatisfactory to the manufacturers: It cannot be unsatisfactory to the artisans, who have all the work they can possibly attend to. If you look into the newspapers at the present time you will find that there is a greater demand for artisans of various classes than has existed for a very long time. In all branches of manufacture, or in nearly all, there is a very keen and earnest demand for artisans, and that at very good wages. The present tariff therefore cannot be unsatisfactory to them. Neither can it be unsatisfactory to the farmers, because it has relieved them of certain burdens which formerly rested upon them. One hon. gentleman on the other side, in the course of his argument, alluded to the introduction of free coni as detrimental to the farmers of this country. Well, I am here to take issue with him. The statement was made, I believe, that the introduction of fr'ee corn had the effect of reducing the price of coarse grain. I Challenge that statement; I defy any hon. member an this House to prove that, as a general rule, the introduction of free corn has lowered the price of coarse grains one iota. I challenge any man to prove from the market reports or otherwise that the introduction of free corn has had any such results. I assert on the other hand that it has been a most decided benefit to the farming classes. In my neighbourhood I have asked cattle raisers, both Conservatives and Liberals, I have asked cattle buyers, both Conservatives and Liberals; I have made considerable investigations along that line, and almost without exception, men of all classes have endorsed and upheld the action of the government in throwing off the duty on corn as an action in the interest of the farming community. It has enabled the farmer to finish his cattle and stock at a less cost, and to put them on the English market in a better condition, than they would have been if fed on coarse grain alone. The Canadian farmer has to compete with
the American farmer in the English market, and by the use of corn he is able to put his stock on the English market in competition with the American farmer more successfully than he could do without free corn.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we have had a good many figures given us in this debate. I do not want to weary the House with them, but when figures tell certain truths and when they are advantageous, I think they should be put on record. I will give our friends on the opposite side of the House credit for this, that where they find what they believe to be a weak spot in the armour of members on this side of the House, they make the most of it. I believe in that principle, and when we have a certain fact to lay before the people, I think we should bring it forward and not let it be lost sight of. We contend on this side of the House that the present tariff is better than the old one. Our friends opposite are continually saying that the era of prosperity, of progress and advancement we arc now enjoying is due entirely to Providence, no credit is due to the government at all; and they say in the very next breath if you accept their policy or if you accept the resolution moved by the leader of the opposition, a still greater measure of prosperity will be the result. Now if the policy of our friends opposite would bring about greater prosperity, then by parity of reasoning this government is entitled to a certain amount of credit because of the prosperity Canada has been enjoying during the past few years. The policy that hon. gentlemen opposite desire us to adopt is practically the policy that was in force for eighteen years, but it is a policy that was rejected by the people. It was tried and found wanting. They are now bringing it forward again, and claim that it will produce the beneficial results which it failed to produce before. I am surprised that, in view of the present state of prosperity, in view of several things that have occurred recently, our friends opposite should endeavour to put before the House the fallacious arguments to which they have resorted.
The present resolution is simply a reiteration of the old national policy. They may claim credit for it if they like, but the old national policy has been condemned by the people at the polls. It was condemned in Lisgar. The policy of hon. gentlemen opposite was condemned by the independent electors of that riding. It was condemned in Beauharnois and it was condemned by the people in the general elections. The national policy was introduced in 1879, and the trade of the country increased from $135,000,000 in 1879 to $230,000,000 in 1883. In 1881. under the alleged beneficent influences of this policy, it fell to $207,000,000; in 1888 it fell to $198,000,000 ; in 1889 it dropped still to $189,000,000 and in the year
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1895 it increased to $224,000,000, or $6,000,000 less than it was in 1883. If there is any value in the arguments of hon.' gentlemen at all, if any reliance can be placed upon them, will they tell me why it was that in the years they had that policy in operation it did not produce the results which they say it will now produce ? In 1896 when the present government took office there was only $9,000,000 of an increase in the trade of the country, as compared with the year 1883, after thirteen years of the national policy. From 1879 to 1896 there was an increase of $85,000,000, while, since 1896 to the present year, the trade of the country has increased by $160,000,000, possibly by $170,000,000, or twice as much in six years as in seventeen years under the old regime. It is no wonder that hon. gentlemen opposite try to minimize the efforts of the present government and the advantages that are accruing to the country from this expansion. Hon. gentlemen opposite tell us that they want a clearly defined declaration of policy. To my mind they are simply playing upon words. I think when the government nave a policy that has stood before the people for a certain period of time they have a clearly defined and clearly declared policy. I fancy that anybody who reads between the lines c-au easily see that our friends opposite have some view other than getting a clearly defined policy for the present in connection with their arguments. They are simply playing upon words as far as a clearly defined policy is concerned, but what they are endeavouring to do is to persuade the leaders of the government into the declaration of a line of policy that they intend to pursue before they go to the Coronation ceremonies, in order, if they are not successful in securing what they desire, they may be hauled over the coals hereafter. I suppose it would suit some hon. gentlemen opposite to have a fresh declaration of the policy every day and to change that policy to suit the changing circumstances of the times. It has been said, and said with a great deal of truth that cannot be controverted, that you cannot protect the farmers. The resolution provides that you shall protect the labouring class, the farming class and every other class in the community. I am sorry that at this late stage, not of the session, but at this late day we are apparently having to go over all the arguments that have been threshed out in this country for the last twenty years.
It is an exploded fallacy to talk of protecting the farming interests. The farmers know this only too well at the present time and our friends on the other side of the House, with all their persuasive eloquence and argumentative ability, will not be able to convince the farmers by any hocus pocus proceeding, that by taxing them for the benefit of the manufacturers they can make them prosperous.
A point that I want to call attention to,
and it is only incidental to this debate, and has not yet been touched upon, is the commendable action of the government in connection with the paper combine. I do not say that as one of those who has derived ! any benefit therefrom, as I come within the class that do not derive any benefit from the action of the government. But, I want to commend the government for the attitude they have taken towards the paper combine, and 1 want to say a word in regard to the peculiarity of that action. I believe that the people of this country realize that the judgment delivered by Judge Taseliereau is of very far reaching importance and is fraught with important consequences to the consuming community. The peculiar feature of the government's action is that it is endorsed by Conservatives and Liberals alike. There is not a solitary Conservative newspaper but has endorsed the action of the government in reducing the duty on paper. If it is a benefit to the consuming classes to reduce the duty on paper, as I hold it is, because this combine was charging excessive prices, X think a similar reduction of other lines would meet with as _ large a measure of approval. Our lion, friends opposite talk about securing a preference in the mother country. I have no objection to securing a preference in the market of the mother country provided it can be obtained, but it seems to me that on the part of Canada taking the position that we do, it is a piece of presumption and impertinence on our part to attempt to dictate to Great Britain what shall be' her policy as far as the colonies are concerned. If Great Britain chooses to put a moderate duty on grain, that is her own business, and though we would derive a benefit therefrom, I am quite willing to allow Great Britain to pursue her own course and do as she thinks best. But. a very striking thing in connection with the matter is that all the arguments of lion, gentlemen have been that this course would be for the benefit of Great Britain. Pure unselfishness on the part of those who speak for Canada ! No benefit to us at all ; it is all to Great Britain's benefit ! It is the old argument of doing something for some other fellow rather than for the man who is going to derive the benefit. I think that if Great Britain told us that free trade for Canada would be the best policy for us to pursue we would very quickly tell Great Britain to mind her own business. I think Great Britain has the same right to tell us to mind our own business when we interfere in an affair with which we have nothing to do. Our friends opposite dwelt a good deal on patriotism. It seems to me that this protestation of patriotism comes with exceedingly bad grace from hon. gentlemen opposite whose organ, when the national policy was introduced and when it was said it would interfere with British connection, reiterated the statement through the length and breadth of this country :
Then so much the worse for British connection. These are the hon. gentlemen who talk about patriotism and about doing something for the mother land and who, when they were told, as they were told, that a Policy of that kind would interfere with British connection said : So much the worse for the British nation. In an earlier part of the session one of the hon. members on the other side of the House endeavoured to get the ear of the right hon. the leader of this House (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier)-I suppose, perhaps, due to the fact that he had his own ear to the ground and misunderstood certain sounds that he had heard-and attempted to dictate to him the course he should pursue at the Coronation. He endeavoured to convey to him the idea that he should represent in England that the people of Canada were lying awake at nights hoping that Great Britain would adopt a policy that would be absolutely and entirely for the benefit of the colonies and of Canada in particular. I have sufficient respect for the honoured leader of this House to know that he can gauge public opinion just as well as any man on the other side can gauge it, and I have sufficient respect for the leader of the Liberal party to know that when he goes to the Coronation he will not take the dictum of this member or of that member, but he will do what he believes to be in the interests of Great Britain as well as in the interests of Canada.
If there was one question, Sir, more than another upon which the present administration gained the confidence of the electors in 1900, it was on the question of tariff reform. This was an important issue in that election, and on that issue the people voted for the government. I know that some of our friends opposite say that we have not got tariff reform, but in one breath they tell us that we have tariff reform which is injuring the woollen industry for example, and in the next breath they tell us that this government has not reformed the tariff. They say it is not a tariff such as gives adequate protection to the manufacturer. For my part, I wisih to assert that I believe the confidence of the electors of Canada can be maintained by the government standing in the direction of tariff reform. 'I believe that while the people of Canada are willing to concede to the manufacturers a reasonable amount of protection, they are not willing that that protection shall be unreasonable. I believe that the people of Canada are willing to give to the manufacturers sufficient protection to enable them to compete with outside competition, but they are not willing that the tariff shall be excessively high. If this government wishes to pursue a policy which shall be in the interests of the people and which will be endorsed by the people, then they will pursue the same policy of a moderate tariff and stability that has
characterized their regime. Canada is tired of the tariff that the hon. gentleman opposite seek to reintrocluce. This country has tided the policy which hon. gentlemen opposite would endeavour to again saddle upon the country, but the country has shown upon two successive occasions that it has no sympathy with the resolution of the leader of the opposition, and has no desire to again put in practice the extreme principle embodied in that resolution.
I am one of those, Mr. Speaker, who do not believe in the fast Atlantic service- perhaps that is due to the fact that I live far from the sea-l>oard. I believe this country can get along very well without a fast Atlantic service, as I understand it, and I think we have been wise in goiug slow in that respect. If the time comes when we are able to have a fast Atlantic service without too much cost to the country, perhaps it may be advisable and advantageous, but I believe we have been prudent in not hurrying into a scheme of that kind without very carefully considering what we are doing.
The hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Rosamond) told us that the census was disappointing, and that we have not the population we would have, had we pursued some other policy. Let me point to the hon. gentlemen the fact, that the loss of our population to a very large extent took place during the period when the hon. gentleman's friends were in power. Is it not a fact that the failure of our population to increase as we should expect it would increase, happened during the period when the national policy was in operation; a policy practically identical with that set forth in the resolution of the leader of the opposition ? The census was no doubt disappointing to all Canada, but if the policy of the Conservative party failed to create the industries which they say would have increased our population, is it at all reasonable to suppose that the reintroduction of that policy would have any effect ? I contend, Sir, itlhlat the more you can make this country a cheap country to live in, without seriously interfering with the existing industries, the better it is for the country. Canada would have been infinitely better off if it had confined itself to what we understand to be a revenue tariff, and had never adopted what is known as the national policy. I know that it is difficult to get people to acknowledge a distinction between a revenue tariff and a protective tariff , for 2o per cent or 35 per cent even may be a revenue tariff and yet afford considerable protection. It is only a difference of degree between the two, but however ,e; 1 believe that our industries " oiild have been just as prosperous ; nay more so, if we had never resorted to the extreme features of the national policy. It removed from the people that spirit of self-dependence; that spirit of Mr. HOLMES. *
active energy; that spirit of determination, that spirit of self-assertiveness which would have prevailed had we not depended upon the assistance given us by the government. If our manufacturers had been thrown upon their own resources; if our manufacturers had catered to the wants of the people; if our manufacturers had endeavoured ' to branch out according to the legitimate demands of the country, I believe that our industries would be more prosperous than they are to-day, and that the country would have been all the better for it.
It is apparent to all who observe, the conditions in this country that for a considerable length of time, if not for all time Canada must be first and foremost an agricultural country. We have the mining and the lumbering and the fishing industries of course, but with our vast area of fertile territory I repeat that Canada must be first of all an agricultural country. Therefore it is our duty to do all that we can to improve the condition of our agriculturists. When we can make it possible for him to earn more by the labour oil his farm ; wnen we can enable him to have more money to spend, that of course would mean an increase in the production of manufactured goods, because tile farmer will spend more money ou implements and upon clothing and other necessaries. Therefore, the prosperity of the agricultural class of the community means the prosperity of the manufacturers and of every other class of our population. The argument was advanced by the hon. gentlemen on the other side of this House, that because we did not adopt the policy advocated by the Conservative party, British capital was not being invested here, but during this very debate we have heard gentlemen on the other side declaim in unmeasured terms against the fact that American capitalists were investing money here. They claim that we were being Americanized ; that the Americans were buying our railways, our steamship lines, our manufacturing industries, and that we were going to be completely at the mercy of American capital. Well, Sir, I can see no distinction between being at the mercy of American capitalists and being at the mercy of British capitalists, so far as this is concerned. If American capitalists are willing to invest in our railways, surely these railways must remain here and he worked here and so much the better for the welfare of the country. I certainly shall not raise my voice against American capital or British capital being invested in Canada.
Let me say a word or two as to the transportation question. I believe that the government is doing what it can to solve the transportation problem in this country. Gentlemen opposite find fault with the government for not doing as much as they can to increase our transportation facilities, but when the government wisely expends money in improving the Intercolonial Railway or in
improving our water ways, these same gentlemen condemn the government for that expenditure There is no consistency in their arguments on that score. For my part, I shall not find fault with the government even if it increases the present large expenditures for the betterment of our transportation facilities, because 1 believe that these expenditures are like investments that are wisely and judiciously made, and in the end will redound to the advantage of Canada. I am glad that I am not called on to support the fallacious resolution that was placed before the House by the hon. leader of the opposition. Let me say that in general, I believe that the policy pursued by the present administration is a policy that meets with the cordial approval and support of the people of the Dominion as a whole ; it is a policy which is building up our industries, developing our resources, adding to our wealth and prosperity, and therefore worthy of the confidence of this House and of the country.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Subtopic: L 1902