April 2, 1902


Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)


lion acres of land for that purpose, as well as large cash subsidies. The Dominion government did so for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and no doubt that road would never have been built unless so aided. (Opposition members- Hear, hear.) We have done so in Ontario, and the other provinces of the Dominion have followed our example. Bounties have been given for the development of special industries in France and in Germany ; bounties by the Dominion government for the development of iron and steel ; bounties by the Ontario government for the development of our iron industry, and latterly the proposed bounty for the encouragement of the beet-root sugar industry.

Then lie goes on to deal with the question of bounty, and proceeds to say :

The object of my argument is to show that it seems to he admitted' all round that a government in modern times has something more to do than merely discharge administrative functions. It has to be the pioneer, if possible, at all events the foster parent, of manufactures and commerce. It has, if possible, to devise ways and means by which the material wealth of the people it represents for the time being may be promoted. It is supposed to stand upon the financial watch-tower, as well as upon the administrative watch-tower, and wherever any great industry lies dormant which the wealth and means at the disposal of the government can awaken, or where any great enterprise can be encouraged for which private capital is insufficient, it seems to be the rule in modern times for nearly every government to put its hand to these varied means of enriching a nation; and, wisely or unwisely, for good or for evil, tax the whole people, in order that the whole people may be wealthy.

Again he adds :

It would be an easy thing for a government to say : 'Give us so much money and we will administer the affairs of the country, see that ofli-cers are appointed .for the various duties, see that cheeks are issued for salaries'-that would be an easy duty. It is another matter for a government to assume the responsibility of leading the nation, or leading and educating the people to apply their minds to the development of industry, and to the fostering of manufactures or to the development of latent resources, or, to any other purpose which may be of more immediate advantage to one or more sections of the country than to the whole country. I think the modern view, although it imposed great responsibility upon the government, is the one we were bound to accept. And I am proud to be able to say that in the province of Ontario, as well as at Ottawa-we have addressed ourselves to the solution, or rather to the discharge, of that duty. In fact, I do not know but the Dominion government, the Conservative government at Ottawa years ago, realized more quickly than perhaps some of us did-(Opposition members- Hear, hear)-what seemed to be the direction- of universal opinion, I was going to say-or rather the direction of all civilized governments at that time, and, realizing that view, they struck out a course which in many respects has been followed since, and has been accepted by some other countries since that time.

These views of the Hon. Mr. Ross certainly do not coincide with those of many of the speakers from the government side of the ,

House. Mr. Ross admits that the Conservative party were the first to adopt that policy of protection which was necessary in Canada, and to which all civilized countries have turned their attention. Let me just refer to another quotation from the Hon. Mr. Ross, and I do so more particularly to show that when the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Edwards) says that the Americans have not prospered under protection, he does not agree with his leader in the province of Ontario. The Hon. George W. Ross says :

The Americans have become strong largely by the dominant strain which has permeated American legislation and commerce for the last thirty years, and they have become self sustaining to a great extent; and the British navy has been dominated by the idea, since Nelson's time, that the British navy is invincible. And so will we Canadians, by being imbued with the same spirit of manufacturing our own goods as far as we can, developing our own resources where we have the means, become self sustaining, applying ourselves with energy and tact to whatever comes to hand.

Then he proceeds to deal with the factory question :

A factory means not merely the investment of capital but the employment of intelligent men and women.

He adds further :

We must make special efforts to have the waste places of the country filled up, and its raw materials and products must be manufactured so far as possible, in the country.

To me it seems a good deal of a farce to hear a large number of gentlemen on the government benches make free trade speeches, and then to find another set get up and make protectionist speeches, and to find the government in the position of having adopted, to a great extent, the national policy. But where they have interfered with that policy they have done so to the injury of the people of this country.

A great deal has been said about free trade England. I do not propose to go back into the history of England. We all know that there was a long and interesting period prior to 1840 when England enjoyed the most rigid protection. We know that in 1337-1 think in the reign of Edward III- there were passed enactments for the fostering and encouragement of English industries. We know that from 1337 down to 1846 a most rigid system of protection prevailed in that country. And this very industry, which has been so frequently spoken of here, the woollen industry, owes its present position to that protection. There would have been no possibility of England at that time manufacturing woollen goods for her own people had she not enjoyed the most rigid protection. It was under that policy that the woollen industry of England was built up, just as were built up her other manufacturing industries, until in 1846 they were in a position to dispense with protection and to throw down the tariff wall.

I would like to refer just for a moment to the experience of the United States under a low tariff. I find on reference to the New York ' Tribune ' of January 15tli, that in 1855 the United States were still under their old tariff law of 1846. That was a very low tariff, and here is how Mr. Horace Greeley, in the New York 'Tribune,' describes its effects :

The cry of hard times reaches us from every part of the country. The making cf roads is stopped; factories are closed; and houses and ships are no longer being built; factory hands, road makers, carpenters, bricklayers, and labourers are idle and paralysis is rapidly embracing every pursuit in the country. The cause of all this stoppage of circulation is to be found in the steady overflow of gold to pay foreign labourers for the cloth, the shoes, the Ton and other things that could he produced by American labour, but which cannot be so produced under our present revenue system.

Let me also cite the opinion of another authority, Mr. Peter Cooper :

British iron and cloth came in and gold went out, and with each successive day the dependence of our farmers on foreign markets became more complete ; with 1857 came the culmination of the system. Merchants and manufacturers being ruined, banks being compelled to suspend payment, and the treasury being reduced to a condition of bankruptcy nearly approaching that which had existed at the close of the free trade period of 1817 and 1839.

President Buchanan described the condition of things, in his message of December 14th, 1860, in the following language

Panic and distress of a fearful character prevails throughout the land. Our labouring population is without employment and consequently deprived of the means of earning their bread. Indeed all hope seems to have deserted the minds of men.

These quotations are of course not evidence, and it is wise for us to look at the statistics to find the proofs of the statements made by such men as President Buchanan,

Mr. Cooper, Mr. Horace Greeley and the others. We find that in 1846 there were imported into the United States cotton goods to the value of $13,530,625. In 1860, under this low tariff, there were imported of the same goods to the value of $32,560,024. Take the article of clothing. There, was imported in 1864 $847,742 worth, and in 1860 $2,102,296 worth. Then take woollens, with the exceptions of carpets, we find that in 1846 the imports amounted to $9,850,307, and in 1860 they had increased to $35,394,422, or an increase of 360 per cent. Fortunately for the United States a higher tariff measure was brought down. From 1860 until 1890 a fairly high tariff was in force, but in 1890 the McKinley tariff came in. What effect had that tariff on the woollen industry of the United States ? The consumption increased some 17 per cent, while the value of woollen goods imported decreased to the extent of $21,000,000. It has often been said that the

McKinley tariff was a hardship on the consumer. I maintain that that was not the case. For while that tariff protected the manufacturers and the other industries of the United States, the American consumer got his goods at a lower price than he did under a low tariff. That whole question was referred to a very competent committee, consisting of the following gentlemen :-Canon D. Wright, Commissioner of the Department of Labour; General Francis A. Walker, Prof. H. C. Adams, Edward Atkinson, Prof. E. J. James and William Grosvenor. The first man on that committee was an independent on the tariff question. The next three were pronounced free traders and the next two were protectionists. What diu that committee report ? It reported as follows I only quote a short portion of report:

During the twenty-eight months from June 1, 1S89, to September 1, 1891 (the Act took effect in 1896), the_ average retail prices of 214 articles of common consumption among the people declined 64 per cent,-wholesale prices of the same article declined 33 per cent, the prices of agricultural products advanced 67 per cent, and wages advanced on the average 75 per cent.

This report was unanimously adopted by the Senate Committee, composed of both Republicans and Democrats. I say that this report is a most important document. It shows that under high protective tariff, under that McKinley tariff, the prices of articles commonly used and consumed by the people decreased, the rate of wages increased and the prices to the agriculturists increased by no less than 18'07 per cent. The history of the United States of America has been simply this-that parties who gave protection to the country gave prosperity to the country and that those who failed to give that protection brought disaster to the United States. May I be allowed to refer to an earlier period in the history of the American Republic. We know that in 1824 the United States passed a protective tariff. They were bound to increase their protection, because the British manufacturer at that time, owing to the United States low tariff had got possession of their markets. And Henry Olay, who was one of the leading lights of that time, in speaking of the results of a protective tariff- and the protection afforded was a great deal higher than we have in Canada to-day -said :

If a term of seven years were to be selected of the greatest prosperity which the people have enjoyed since the establishment of this present constitution, it would be exactly that period which immediately followed the passage of the tariff of 1824.

Now, while this government were pledged to a large reduction in our tariff, they have practically maintained the tariff of the Conservative party, except in so far as the preferential feature is concerned. Let me say


a word in this connection, concerning the cotton industry. In the town in which I have the honour to live, the town of Cornwall. we are interested in that industry, manufacturing there, very largely, coloured cottons. Under the late government, we had a protective duty of 30 per cent. Hon. gentlemen opposite and their supporters, when in opposition, attacked the Conservative government on account of that duty of 30 per cent. Those engaged in the manufacture of cottons were spoken of as ' Cotton Barons ' and, from one end of the country to the other speeches were made attacking the cotton industry. But when these hon. gentlemen came into power they did not cut down the tariff. As a citizen of Cornwall, I felt very thankful for that. On the other hand, the government increased the duty by 5 per cent, making it 35 per cent, and then they brought in their preferential tariff. But I say that that preferential tariff is an injury to the cotton industry, and it is no .wonder that three of the largest cotton manufacturing concerns passed their dividends within the last year. I have only to look at the returns to find that over $4,000,000 worth of cotton goods were imported into this country under the preferential tariff last year. And, of the class of cotton goods manufactured in our town, over $2,000,000 worth were imported. I quote these figures from memory, but I believe they are substantially correct. Now, it must be plain that that is a great injury to the cotton industry of the country. Prior to the preferential tariff coloured cotton goods came largely from the United States of America. Under the preferential tariff these goods are coming in from Great Britain, and they are coming in at prices which make it almost impossible to compete with them. One hon. gentleman on the other side, speaking in this debate, said that the woollen mills were running night and day. Our cotton industry may Jje running full time, but they may not be making any money, owing to the competition from outside.

We have also the hon. member from West York (Mr. Campbell) who I must say. ought to support this amendment. If he is correctly reported, he made a very strong protectionist speech at a banquet of the Manufacturers' Association in the city of Montreal. Referring to the large importation of agricultural implements, this Is what he said :

If we can have these goods manufactured in the Dominion and the duty were raised, it would mean that this $2,500,000 worth of goods would be made here ; and the actual fact of such manufacture being established would mean an increase of, say, 25,000 to 30,000 in the population. As it is in this line, so would it be in other lines. The tariff is going to be revised before long-I hope this session.

Now this is a very strong utterance, and what does it mean ? Is it a farce ? Are they playing with the people ? One branch

of the government supporters are going out in the country and saying : We are going' to have an increase in the tariff;. Another branch of the government supporters are going out and saying, where it suits them, we are adhering to our principles, and intend to reduce the tariff gradually. The Minister of Finance says there will be a revision next year, and we cannot assume that he will increase the tariff. The only assumption possible is that he will reduce the tariff in accordance with the pledges made by himself and other members of the government. I say that this is a farce. The people of this country ought to know definitely what the position of the government is in regard to the tariff. Are they going to reduce it, or are they going to increase it ? Where the government find an industry is seriously affected by the preferential- tariff, are they going to step in and give that industry -the protection that it needs, so that it may have a part in the prosperity of this country ? I say. Sir. that we require a declared and settled policy in regard to this tariff question.

The government have taken great credit for the increased imports into this country from Great Britain. In 1900, according to the first plank in their platform as laid down in 1893, where they promised to wipe out the national policy, &c., they issued a 'manifesto to the people saying that this preferential tariff had resulted in largely increased sales of British goods to Canada. Now, Sir, I do not think that it is in the interests of the Canadian workmen that that tariff should have the result of largely increasing the sales of British goods to the people of Canada, especially of that class of goods that we can manufacture ourselves. And this manifesto was issued before the,full reduction of 33J per cent had been made in favour of British goods. I would like, Mr. Speaker, for a moment to refer to the woollen industry. -I find in the ' Canadian Manufacturer ' of January 3rd, an article on this British preference, and after dealing with statistics, and showing the large increase of importations of woollens from Great Britain, it says this ;

As herein shown, notwithstanding the tariff preference, our import trade with Great Britain is, as compared with our whoie trade, fallen behind, not only in manufactures of metals hut also in textiles, it is fair to enquire why the preference, for which we receive no quid pro quo should be continued. It has no effect whatever upon our imports of metal goods, and is therefore only valuable as a sentiment, which, in trade, does not count for much, but it most seriously and adversely affects our Canadian woollen industry, and for that reason if for no other, it should he cancelled, or very materially modified ; and one very important feature of any modification it should include is a reciprocal preference on the part of Great Britain and any other British country with which Canadians desire to do business.

Mr. Speaker, the bon. member for West Huron (Mr. Holmes) said there was no progress in this country under the national policy. Without being too local, I would say in regard to the town of Cornwall in the county which I have the honour to represent, that our increase in population from 1881 to 1891 was 2,337, or 52 per cent. That was due almost entirely to the policy of the Conservative party in protecting the Industries of this country. People with capital had confidence in the future of Canada, and they invested in large cotton Industries in that town. But apart from that case, what do we find throughout the country ? We find that from 1881 to 1891 there was an increase in the number of manufacturing establishments in this country of over 51 per cent, find there was an increase in the amount of capital invested in industries of 114 per cent ; and we find the number of employees Increased 44 per cent. Now it is Idle for the Minister of Agriculture to go Into constituencies in this country and say that if the woollen industry cannot exist on a 23 per cent protection it should be wiped out. I say the woollen manufacturers have invested over $10,000,000 of capital in Canada, expecting that the government would give them reasonable protection. I think it is the duty of the government to see that these woollen manufacturers have sufficient protection to put them on an equal footing with their foreign competitors.

I do not intend to deal with the financial question, which has been already covered so completely by the numerous speakers who have preceded me. I will, however, say this, that while the members of the present government were very much horrified at an expenditure of $38,000,000 per annum, they seem to be delighted now at an expenditure of $62,000,000 to $63,000,000 per annum. We find that during the last four or five years, from 1897 to 1901, their total expenditure was $250,550,003, and their total revenues during the same period were $228,670,960. There Is a total deficit of $21,879,043 -during that period of great prosperity, a period of world-wide prosperity. Not only did this country enjoy prosperity, but there was prosperity in every section of the habitable globe. During that period, with such a buoyant revenue, it was the duty of these gentlemen who found so much fault with an expenditure of $38,000,000, at least to have avoided a prodigal expenditure which left them with a deficit of over $21,000,000 during that period of five years.

Now, Mr. Speaker, a great deal has been said here from the agriculturist standpoint. Nobody recognizes more clearly than I do that agriculture is the largest and most important industry of this country, and in it are engaged more people than In any other single occupation. I was surprised

to bear the bon. member for West Huron saying that tbe agriculturist of this country was not benefited by protection. Then if be is not benefited by protection, wby do not tbe government remove all protection from the agriculturist of this country ? When I turn to the ' Hansard ' for 1890, I find that there were tremendous importations of fresh meats and other meats; I think that, year 33,000,000 pounds of American meat came into Canada, notwithstanding that we then had protection in favour of the farmers, and the Conservative party advocated an increased protection on meats coming in from the United States. We find that the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce opposed it. He voted against it, and every member of the government voted against it, but, when they came into power they dared not reduce it. They left it just as it was framed by the Conservatives in 1890. If protection in favour of the agriculturists of this country is a curse, why do not hon. gentlemen remove it ? They have removed the protection from three or four articles, and they have removed it to the detriment and injury of the agriculturists of this country. We have a number of hon. gentlemen coming from the western portions of this great Dominion. I may say I am always pleased to hear them speak and advocate their views, but, these hon. gentlemen, instead of being sectional, should be guided by broader lilies. They should be national. They must not think that they have all the interests in the west. They have great and important interests, they are going to assist in making this a wealthy country, but their history will be largely the history of the United States. We remember the days when Illinois and the western states were all opposed to protection. We find to-day that in the western states the population has changed. We find that the manufacturers have had to remove to the west to be near the agriculturists of those states. Let me just quote a word from a very able author in connection with the agricultural condition of the United States. Before I quote that I would like to say that in looking at the report of the bureau of statistics of the United States, I find this statement from the chief of that bureau :

Following on the rapid advance in the population of the western states, large and diversified manufacturing enterprises of this country have moved steadily towards the west.

I believe, and I firmly believe, that if the policy advocated by the Conservative party were carried out in this country you would see large manufacturing industries established in Winnipeg to supply the people of that great western country and the articles that they require would be manufactured by Canadians for the Canadians in the west. The statement has been made that the agriculturists of the United States have not prospered under protection. I say Mr. PRINGLE.

that statement is untrue, that statistics show us that the progress of the agriculturists of the United States has been greater than the progress of the agriculturists of any other nation under the sun. Wealth in the United States has increased at an enormous rate. Mulhall, whom I do not think any one will accuse of being a protectionist, in his ' Industries and Wealth of Nations,' in 1896, says :

The growth of American agriculture in half a century has been unparalleled in any age or nation.

Then he goes on to say :

In 1840 the United States produced-

And he gives the quantities. He also gives the production in 1850, showing that there had been a marvellous increase. I am not going to detain the House by giving these figures. This promient authority in the United States says :

While the great manufacturing industries of tt^e United States were in process of creation, instead of diverting capital from the development of agriculture there is a consensus of opinion that the artificial system of promoting manufactures has contributed more to the rapid opening up of the fertile land of the western states than any other cause.

The statement - has been made that wages are lower in protectionist countries than in free trade countries. I am not going to weary the House by giving statistics in regard to that matter, but I have taken the trouble of going into the tables, and I find that wages have increased in every protectionist country while they have diminished in free trade countries. I find that in the United States the increase has been very large. Take journeymen carpenters, for instance; between 1840 and 1860 they received $1.25 per day, and subsequent to 1SU0 the price ranged from 81.25 to $1.75 a day. In 1891, when the McKinley Bill came into force, wages ran from $3 to $3.25 per day, and this has been the history of all protectionist countries. I am now going back for a moment to the woollen industry in the United States. I find by looking at the statistics that the imports of woollens during the twelve months ending December, 1894, amounted to $16,809,872. In 1895, under free trade, or rather, under a lower tariff, because it was not free trade, the imports amounted to $60,319,309. We find that when the Gorman-Wilson tariff came into force in the United States that the manufacturers found it was utterly impossible for them to compete with the foreign product. Some mills were built at Bradford, England, solely for the purpose of supplying the people of the United States with woollen goods. Subsequent to the repeal of that law these mills were closed, the machinery was brought to the United States of America and woollen goods were manufactured for the Ameri-

can people. I would like to give a few figures from the industrial census of the United States for 1893, showing under this low tariff the injury to the business and people of the United States. There was a decrease in labour of G04 per cent, a decrease in wages of 69 per cent, and a decrease in business of 47 per cent. The number of hands out of work was 101,703, and the total loss in the weekly wages was $1,202,000. There was an average decrease in the rate of wages of $2.35 per week. There was a loss in wages of over $300,000,000, in round figures. A very good barometer as to the condition of the country is the number of failures, and in looking up these figures I find that under Cleveland in 1894 there were 12.721 failures and that under Harrison in 1894 there were 10,034, Cleveland's extra industry of the sheriff in that respect being 2,687. I say that, go where we will, under present conditions, there is no market to gain on the face of the globe. Other nations are not only producing for themselves, but are also looking for foreign markets. I am not going into all the figures of our imports except to say roughly that we imported from the United States during last year $119,000,000 worth, a part of which were necessaries and a large portion of which were dutiable goods-I think about $65,000,000 worth-and as I have heard it stated in this House, I believe that $40,000,000 worth of these goods could be manufactured by our own people in this country. X referred a few moments ago to the importation of cotton fabrics, and I find that the correct figures in regard to the importation of printed, dyed and coloured cottons, which were imported in 1901, and which came into direct competition with the product of the Canadian coloured cotton mills, are as follows : We imported from Great Britain $2,494,503 worth, or 24,165,332 yards of coloured cotton fabrics. Our total importation of cotton fabrics from Great Britain in 1901 amounted to $4,841,165. From the United States w'e imported $1,368,696 worth, so that the total importation into Canada of manufactured cotton goods for the year 1901 amounted to $6,209,861 in value. It is whispered that the large mills at "Valley-field have been promised an increase in the tariff. I hope they will get it, because I believe that it will be very largely in the interest of the country if the tariff on cotton goods could be increased; at all events increased to shell an extent as to put Canadian manufacturers on a par with the manufacturers of foreign countries.

The House will pardon me if X say a word or two with regard to the increase of wages in the woollen industries. We in this country want to see our artisans and our factory employees receiving fair wages. We want to see them get reasonable wages, for If they do not they will not stay with us, but will depart for the United States, which is a high; protected country and where the

wages are high. Look at the relative wages paid in the United States and in England. I now refer to the woollen industry, and I find that in Massachusetts the spinners get $6.00 per week as against $2.43 in England ; the wool sorters get $11 per week in Massachusetts as against $7.29 in England ; the overlookers get $15 a week in Massachusetts as against $8.26 in England. In the mechanic and repair shops we find that the carpenters get $13.50 a week in Massachusetts as against $6.80 in England, and the machinists get $13.20 in Massachusetts as against $7.29 in England.

The following table will show the relative wages paid in Massachusetts and in England



- . Massa- chusetts. England. 8 cts. $ cts.


Spinners. ..@

6 00 2 43Wool sorters 11 00 7 29Overlookers 15 00 8 26Assistant overlookers 9 00 4 36Weavers 7 oo 3 40Mechanic and Repair Shops. Carpenters. 13 50 6 80Machinists. . 13 20 7 29Blacksmiths 12 00 7 20Stokers... 9 00 4 37Engineers 15 00 7 29Carding. Overlookers it; no ft 729 01) 4 37Carders (>

50 3 04

It will be seen that wages are very much higher in the United States than they are in free trade England. The wages paid in Canada have got to correspond to a large extent with the wages paid in the United States or else we cannot keep our population in Canada. Why, in the little town of Lowell. Massachusetts, I was surprised to find that there are 6,000 Canadians working there in the cotton mills, and manufacturing cottons which are sent back into this country and are purchased by our people here. I believe Sir, that with a proper system of protection we would have these Canadians living in our own country and manufacturing cotton goods for the people of Canada.

The hon. member for Russell said that the United States is not a prosperous country. Let us look at the wealth of the United States as compared with the wealth of other countries and we will see that the statement of the hon, gentleman (Mr. Edwards) is absolutely refuted. The following table


Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)


This is the report of the evidence of Mr. Falwell, another large woollen manufacturer in the United States :

Mr. Falwell testifies that his rate of wages are about the same now as under the McKinley Bill, but that when the Wilson Bill was in force the general rate was about 10 per cent lower and about half his mill was stopped. He attributes the fact that wages are higher in America than in Europe exclusively to the tariff. He understands that while wages In American woollen mills are about double what is paid in France and Germany, they are a little less than double what is paid in England.


Mr. W@

Steele was examined before that commission and he is asked this question :

Q. How did the wages compare ?-A. The wages are much higher here than there. I will give you an instance showing that one department of the business-that is, the weaving department. The weavers over there as a rule are higher skilled weavers; they can only get work as learners, unless they are well skilled and capable ; I just speak of this one instance although it is a good comparison of the great number of workers. There was one woman'- and the weavers in England are mostly women, here they are largely men-this woman was a very good weaver, but the highest wages I remember of her making were about $5 a week. She came to our mill and she worked on the same loom and on the same class of goods precisely-not made out of the same wools but the character of the goods was similar-and she made $14 in our mill ; and we have people now -men1-that earn as high as $18 a week, but I never knew a man weaver over there making over $7.50.

Under the United States tariff of 1897 on cloths, knit and other fabrics, and all manufactures of every description made wholly or in part of wool, there was a specific duty besides an ad valorem duty of 50 per cent. Under the Act of 1894 the duty was from 35 to 40 per cent ad valorem.

In this country under the preferential tariff there is only about 23 per cent on woollen goods, and it is impossible for our woollen industry to pay the wages which have to be paid in this country and exist under that rate of duty. The American woollen mills could not exist under a tariff of 40 per cent and a small specific duty, and how can it be expected that woollen mills in Canada, situated under similar conditions, can exist under a tariff of 23 per cent ?

Mr. Falwell, a woollen manufacturer, testified that his trade had no more than got established under the McKinley Bill before the Wilson Bill was passed. He only ran half his capacity during the period of the Wilson Bill. The markets ware flooded1 both with goods and with wool, but it is pretty well over now and if we are simply let alone I think everything will work out right.

Another great injury to the woollen trade caused by a low tariff is the importation of

shoddy, which is used in a very low grade of goods. So far as I can learn, our Canadian woollen manufacturers give to the people an honest article, but the low class of goods that came into the country from abroad under a low tariff were largely composed of shoddy, and this was also the experience of the United States under a low tariff.

There is a question, Mr. Speaker, of vital importance to this country, to which the government should turn their immediate attention ; that is, the transportation question. But the government of this country seems to think that all they have to do is to let things alone, while our agriculturists are suffering great hardships from the high rates that not only prevail on the railways, but on the ocean steamers plying between the port of Montreal and the old country. A short time ago I read a very interesting and able speech on this subject delivered by the hon. member for North Perth (Mr. MacLaren), in which that hon. gentleman showed that there has been a loss to the farmers of this country of $10,000,000 in one year. That is equal to more than one-third of our customs taxation. And what is the reason of that loss ? It is caused by the high rates charged by the railway companies in this country. Now, surely this is a matter which our government can control. Surely our government can see that the agriculturists of this country get as low rates as the agriculturists of the United States. If they do, there will be a saving to them, according to the figures I have before me, of over $10,000,000 a year.

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken a great deal longer than I had any intention of doing, and I will just say, in closing, that I have much pleasure in supporting the amendment moved by the hon. leader of the opposition. I am a firm believer in the development of Canada for Canadians. It is our duty as a people to further the interests of Canada, and to protect our labour, our agricultural products, manufactures and industries. Bet us legislate in so far as we can to promote the wealth of this country. Let us do ah that we can to bring prosperity to this country-to the artisan in the humblest home as well as to those who combine their capital arrd invest it for the purpose of developing the resources of this country. I am firmly convinced that the policy laid down by the Conservative party is the policy which will ac'crue to the benefit of the Dominion.


Onésiphore Turgeon


Mr. O. TURGEON (Gloucester).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, last year in my maiden speech in this House I used the English language to express my views upon the administration of the public affairs of Canada, and having thus paid a deserved compliment to my English-speaking constituents, I feel it my duty to-day to pay the same compliment to my French Acadian friends,

who have opened to me the doors of this parliament.

It is only right that the Acadian people, who number 150,000 souls in the maritime provinces, should attract more and more the attention of parliament and of the country, not only on account of their rapid increase and their attachment to the soil, but also by reason of the intelligent way in which they study every question of public policy, while at the same time, their public men also shine in public life.

French Acadians also deserve the consideration of all Canadians for their energetic and persistent work in developing the resources of this country, as fishermen and as agriculturists ; they also deserve our esteem for the great love they entertain for their native land which they now delight in calling their dear Canada ; and above all, for their sincere and generous loyalty to the great British nation, whose expansion and stability they wish to see maintained, for the greatest good of humanity. The small Acadian people are now one heart and soul with the happy Canadian family extending from ocean to ocean. They play a most creditable part in that harmonious concert of the different races who, in this laud of ours, sing the glories of old France, the touching traditions of Ireland, the chivalrous customs of old Scotland, the triumphs of England, and finally join in a most heartfelt expression of gratitude for those acts of kindness which have atoned for past wrongs, and all bear witness td their ardent love for that constitution which guarantees to every one of us the same amount of civil, political and religious liberty, whether we live in the more modest homes of Evangeline's native land or in the great palaces of Westminster and Buckingham.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to tell the House to-day what kind of judgment it should pass upon the administration of the public affairs during the five years this government has been in power. More than a year has elapsed since the people gave their [DOT]verdict, when the Liberal party were given a new lease of power Jby an increased majority. Nor do I think it necessary to dwell upon the merits of the present administration. This task f leave to other gentlemen who can bring to bear upon the debate all the resources of their eloquence, supported by a larger experience than mine. Such a speech we did hear from the lips of the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce who, the other night, held the House spell-bound while he brought to the support of his thesis an array of most striking facts and uncontrovertible statistics. The government stands in no need of panegyrics. The immense prosperity which the country is now enjoying speaks volumes. And this unbounded prosperity could not have spread over the land except under the beneficent impulse of a master-mind which had first to pave the way for it. That master-mind

it was that first prepared the soil in which that luxuriant growth was to germinate, and then, later on, extended its domain and enriched it by steady and persistent labour. That great mind was, no doubt, conscious of the immensity of the resources of this country, of the different ways of developing them ; it must have had a thorough knowledge of the geographical and climacteric conditions of Canada and of her relations to other nations, so as to take advantage of the good dispositions of some of them and refuse to deal with those who were unwilling to offer us good terms.

That prosperity, which has come here to stay, we owe to the wise and vigorous administration of the Liberal government, under the guidance of our beloved right lion. First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and witli the assistance of ministers moved by the same patriotic zeal. We are told that this prosperity is due to Divine Providence. In the abstract, it is true. Every thing in this world, I admit, is ruled by an ail-wise Providence. But, were it to follow the same line of reasoning I should be forced to the conclusion that hon. gentlemen opposite will continue to occupy the opposition benches for a long time to come.

When they speak of the immense harvest of last year in Manitoba and the North-west, which was double that of the previous year, I agree with them. In that fact I see the hand of Providence. But when we come to the progress that the country has made by leaps and bounds ; when we have to deal with the increase in our general trade during the last five years, in our exports as well as in our imports ; or when we consider the arrangement under which every up to date invention and all modern improvements have been grouped together, at the conjunction of the two brightest centuries of our civilization, so that we are enabled to carry our agricultural products to the markets of the world in a state of preservation unknown up to this time, then I see there the hand of man, but, you may depend upon it, it is the work of a most skilful, steady and* firm hand, the hand of a patriotic man.

When speaking of the interposition of Providence, hon. gentlemen perhaps mean to say-and here again I agree with them- that the people of Canada have been moved by $ providential suggestion, when, on the 23rd June, 1896, they selected as their future premier the man who up to then had only been the leader of a party, and a parliamentary debater, but who had revealed himself as the most judicious and patriotic leader that Canadians could desire for Canada, and the empire for its most important self-governing colony.

I contend that our leader has been most fortunate in the choice of his colleagues. Realizing that the happiness of a nation rests upon the progress of agriculture, he has intimated to the country that he wished to enlarge its agricultural area and to find new Mr. TURGEON.

markets for the products of the fields, then he looked around for a man who knew the different qualities of the soil, its fertility and all the possibilities of the country ; a man who could and really did secure new markets for Canada, and procure to the farmers means of transportation for their products in a perfect state of preservation to the most distant, and the richest markets of the world. That man was the present Minister of Agriculture, who has done more for our farmers during the last five years than any one of his predecessors in the administration of this branch of public administration. ,

Our leader wanted a man of energy, a man of tact and courage, having a thorough knowledge of the resources of the country and at the same time a man who could grapple with the difficulties which would have to be faced in the development of the resources of those vast territories where the most promising and the richest areas are so remote from the sea ports. He needed for that work a man possessed with an iron will, an energetic and able man who could devise great schemes in order to meet the exigencies created by the nature of the country ; a man who like Richelieu who wished to save Canada to Louis XIV. and to France, could realize that economy does not consist in a cheese-paring policy, but in a judicious expenditure of public money.

And he found that man in the hon. Minister of Public Works, who, during the last five years has won the esteem, the respect, admiration and confidence of everybody, and whose great schemes for the development of the country, and views upon the important question of transportation have elicited the most generous approvals from the opposition as well as from the liberal press.

Knowing that the development of our resources, so vast, so rich and so varied, and that our commerce wdth England and the other countries would increase to fabulous figures, our leader felt the need of a man who could help these workers and the improvers of our resources ; a man who knew how to keep the treasury well filled, and who would be able to balance the expense with the revenue. Now, such a man he found in the hon. Minister of Finance, who not only fulfilled but exceeded his hopes. For, instead of confining himself to maintaining the equilibrium between the expenditure and the revenue, he took advantage of the prosperous state of our trade, and every year offered the country surpluses of which the greatest financiers of the world might well be proud.

The country was glad to find that the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Public Works have spared no pains in making the improvements required for the transportation of agricultural products. If these two hon. gentlemen would allow me to offer them a suggestion out of pure

friendship, X would tell them to hasten the completion of their schemes and to go ahead fearlessly while they have the good fortune of being associated with the hon. Minister of Finance ; for they may be sure that he will always follow them with a surplus.

I should also like to say that the hon. Prime Minister who had proved so happy in the selection of the members of his cabinet, when he first formed it, was equally successful in the choice of their successors. The appointment of the hon. Minister of Justice (Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick) and the selection of the new (Solicitor General (Mr. Carroll) have won approval and praise from more eloquent voices than mine. The whole country has approved of these appointments, and the flattering compliments paid to the new appointees in this House, have been endorsed by the French-speaking as well as by the English-speaking people of this country. We have heard praises coming from every quarter to the address of these new ministers, and I may add that the appointment of the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Sutherland) has won the same approval from the people. It is probably because the department which the new Minister of Marine and Fisheries presides over is of greater interest to the members of the maritime provinces than to those of any other province, that X feel it my duty to express here not only my approval of his appointment, but to bear witness to the general feeling of satisfaction that prevails throughout the country as to the able and intelligent manner in which the hon. minister performs the duties of his position. It is true that we, of the maritime provinces, have regretted for a little while, I shall say the appointment of the present minister, but the loss of a representative in the cabinet. This expression of regret all through the maritime provinces was not due to the fact that the hon. gentleman who now presides over this department does not reside in our midst and is not yet perfectly acquainted with our wants; but it was due to the feeling that we had lost a representative for the maritime provinces in the cabinet. But from the relations we have had so far with the new Minister of Marine, we feel that we have the best reasons for congratulating him, and we hope that when he is better acquainted with our wants, he will also be able to realize our needs and to lend us a helping hand in developing our maritime industries.

In his budget speech, the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) has referred to the census. He had to confess that the result was disappointing. I shall not speak of the general disappointment about the small increase of the population in the whole country, but I shall once more ask this House to show some gratitude to the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) who, in addition to the benefits he has conferred upon the farming community, has also rendered great service to our French Acadian people. In the maritime provinces, the Acadians being aware of their numerical weakness, were naturally interested in having a correct statement of their numbers made, showing their standing in this happy community to which I referred a little while ago ; for they do not mean to remain in the background in this country of ours, but they mean to play an active role, in the development of British institutions. They were interested in showing their full numerical strength, in order to give further scope to their patriotism and their loyalty. In 1891, unhappily, the census had proved unsatisfactory to the French population of New Brunswick and specially that of Nova Scotia. This year, thanks to the intelligent, disinterested and truly patriotic efforts of the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) the same interest has been extended to the French population of the maritime provinces as to the English population of the other provinces, and French enumerators were appointed in the counties where groups of Acadians were found. In short, whether this result is due to the census bureau in Ottawa, or to the enumerators in the maritime provinces, the Acadians are proud today and also pleased to see that they have been fairly dealt with and that their numerical strength was accurately put before the country, so that in future they will be able to speak in the name of a correctly enumerated population.

I say that the Acadian people wish to stand before the country in their full numerical strength, for they have proved that they have in their make up the stuff of which are made loyal subjects of England. It is important that the Acadian people should be known and judged upon their merits ; and in this connection I hope 1 shall be allowed to quote an extract from an article published in a great newspaper on the 15th of March, ' La Presse,' of Montreal. 1 trust that the able director of ' La Presse ' when he was penning these lines, did not think of the false position in which he was placing the Acadian people towards the rest of the population of Canada :

Neither do the Acadians wish to he called, Canadians nor do they call themselves Canadians. To their mind, the country they reside in is not exactly Canada, it is Acadia. They are either Acadian or French ; they do not object to call themselves such, hut Canadians or French Canadians never. To them Canada is as much a foreign country as Lousiana Is. They go to Canada as they go to the United States. And Canada, in their eyes, is confined to the province of Quebec.

If these lines had been written forty years ago or before confederation, when the maritime provinces were no part of the Dominion, I could understand it. But to-day, the Acadians in the province of New Brunswick as in all the other maritime provinces, are happy to call themselves Canadians. They

have become enthusiastic and loyal British subjects in Canada. They heartily joined hands with their brothers of Canada as soon as the isolation in which they had so long lived had ceased. To prove it, I have only to say that, though I was born in the province of Quebec, I have been returned to this House by a county which boasts of the largest Acadian population in the maritime provinces or at least in New Brunswick. This county in the limits of which reside one-third of the 80,000 Acadian souls of the maritime provinces have elected as their representative in parliament a French Canadian, born in the province of Quebec, against one of their own fellow-countrymen, an Acadian, born in that very county. I think we have here one of the most convincing proofs of the generosity of the Acadians towards their kinsmen and co-religionists of the province of Quebec. At the same time 1 wish to bear witness to the fact that the French Canadians having received since confederation the benefits of education, have grown as progressive as their brothers from the other provinces, and that they work with a perfect harmony for the common good of this great Dominion of ours.

I could further say, Mr. Speaker, that the increase of population, as shown by the census in the maritime provinces, chiefly in the province of New Brunswick, is due to the high birth-rate among Acadian families. In thousands of Acadian homes, children, from the very cradle, imbibe Canadian feelings and are taught by their mothers the love of this land of ours, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

I felt, Mr. Speaker, it was my duty to correct the false notions likely to rise from that editorial of ' La Presse,' so as to dispel all doubts as to the intelligence of the French Acadians, and as to their political standing in this great country of ours.

Before offering a few remarks on the figures given us by the hon. Minister of Finance, there is another question to which i should like to call attention for a few moments ; I mean the Department of Kail-ways... This is one of the most important public departments mainly for the maritime provinces. Since 1890, that department has been under the control of a man with an iron will ; a man than whom there is none more respected and better loved by the members coming from New Brunswick, because we have known him better. The opposition in this House and their political organs, within the last few years, have concentrated all their attacks against that minister, and they think they have a great case in the deficit which has occurred in the administration of the Intercolonial Railway, as if that deficit was going to bring about its ruin and the downfall of the government. It was on that question that the Hon. Joseph Howe delivered one of his most masterful efforts half a century ago, when he spoke in such patriotic accents of the manifold


Onésiphore Turgeon



advantages which would accrue to us of closer relations between the lower provinces and Canada, and from the traffic which this railway would develop. In the same national enterprise another statesman who has left such a bright record in the annals of the province of New Brunswick, the late Hon. Peter Mitchell, also found a theme of lofty inspiration. The same railway also found a patriotic champion in another Canadian statesman, one of the greatest men that Canada has ever produced, Sir George Etienne Cartier. This great man spoke most forcibly of the harmony which would be promoted from a closer intercourse between the people of the maritime provinces and the people of Canada. The other night, the hon. Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) and the member for Guysborough (Mr. Fraser) were eloquent exponents of those same views.

It looks as if the opposition had only one way of proving their patriotism, and that is to bring about the downfall of the government or one of its members. If 1 had time, it would be an easy matter for me to point out to this House the figures showing the result of the operation of the Intercolonial Railway for the different years elapsed since confederation up to our days ; and I believe that I could prove that the final result is all to the advantage of the present administration of the Intercolonial Railway, which has been operated in as efficient a manner as any other department. 1 shall not give all those figures. I shall content myself with showing the difference existing between the Intercolonial Railway in 1880, when the Liberal party came into power, and the state in -which it is now.

The people of the maritime provinces who daily see what is going on and notice the general increase of traffic on that road need not be enlightened on that point; but for the House and for the people of Canada at large, this comparison will serve a useful purpose, as it will show them how efficiently the Intercolonial has been operated since 1896 under Liberal rule, by the hon. Minister of Railways.

Owing to the prosperity which we have been enjoying these last five years, a large share of which the maritime provinces have had, the Intercolonial Railway has been equipped in an up to date fashion along its whole line ; and so, the feeling of discouragement which formerly prevailed among the people, has given place to a feeling of satisfaction and of hope in the future. The railway is now equipped in such a way as to be a credit to the whole country.

The Conservative administration, with a view to manufacturing small surpluses, had allowed the road to fall into a dilapidated condition ; and had such a state of things continued much longer, it would have resulted in depriving the maritime provinces of the facilities of communication which they are now enjoying, and they would

have found themselves severed as it were from the other provinces ; now, I need hardly add that it would have meant the ruin of that great enterprise and the ruin of the maritime provinces themselves. Therefore, I make bold to say, that from that standpoint, we look upon as a happy interposition of divine Providence the change of government that then took place, from which have flowed such beneficial results to the country.

We have heard a good deal of late from hon. gentlemen opposite about the deficit which we had last year ; but as I said, a little while ago, these hon. gentlemen take precious good care not to refer to the era of deficits under Conservative rule, and they abstain also from showing the difference between the present condition of the road and what it was five years ago. Now, thanks to the wise administration of the hon. minister, we have a road that is a credit to the country and a sure index to the prosperity of Canada as well as an omen of what the future keeps in store for us. There is no railway on this continent which offers better accommodation to the travelling public then does the Intercolonial, a fact to which several hon. gentlemen have borne witness. I may be allowed to refer here to an incident that occurred at a public meeting in the county of Gloucester, as an instance bearing upon this same subject. I had been telling the electors that the Intercolonial was now one of the best equipped railways on this continent, and one that afforded the best accommodation to the travelling public. Among those who attended the meeting were two reverend gentlemen who had lately returned from an extended trip in England and throughout France, Italy and Germany ; and when they heard me stating that our railways were, in the matter of accommodation and comfort to the travelling public, far ahead of the other lines on this continent, one of those reverend gentlemen got up and craved leave to say that, from his own experience, he might further add that our railways were far ahead of all those they had travelled on in Europe.

In order to show, Sir, the nature of this road,-were it for no other purpose than that of advertising it-I dare say that it affords the best accommodation to all travellers from the different parts of America and from Europe, who may come and visit our Canadian sea-ports and our picturesque sites ; and that, moreover, it can develop a cohsiderable trade, not only between the provinces themselves but also between America and Canada.

What I have said so far ought to suffice to show that the government and the Minister of Railways deserve full credit for their management of the road. But, in the matter of deficits, I have here a statement which will show the results of the operation of 64

the Intercolonial for the last five years under Liberal rule :

1896- 97, deficit $ 59,940.651897- 98, deficit

209,978.661898- 99, surplus

62,645.431899- 1900, surplus

120,667.021900- 1901, deficit


It is this last deficit about which hon. gentlemen opposite have made so much fuss. Therefore, we have a total of surpluses for the five years of the Liberal administration, of $183,312.45, against a total of deficits of $758,106.08, which leaves a loss, all earnings deducted, of $575,793,63, or an average of $115,158.72 per annum during the last five years.

While making the most of these deficits, such as stated by the Minister of Railways himself, hon. gentlemen opposite ignore altogether the deficits piled up under the late Conservative government. Allow me, Sir, briefly to refer to those figures, not so much in a spirit of disparagement or criticism as to the management of the former administration, as to place those facts in their proper light and to show what the present administration have done. From a mere comparison of the results achieved under both regimes, we shall be enabled to realize what the Minister of Railways has done to improve the road and put it in good working order. I ask the House to bear with me for a few minutes, while I enter into those somewhat tedious details. Let us take the results of the operation of the road, under Conservative rule, during the seventeen years for which they are fully responsible :

Surplus. Deficits.

1879- 80 $ 97,131 23

1880- 81 $ 542 65

1881- 82 9,605 18

1882- 83 10,547'83

1883- 84 6,981 30

1884- 85 ' 78,547 901885- 86

133,905 791886- 87

262,252 691887- 88

383,445 691888- 89

276,846 731889- 90

547,835 871890- 91

684,946 561891- 92

493,935 031892- 93

20,181 59 1893- 94

5,838 29 1894- 95

3,815 21 1895- 96

55,187 52

The deficits under the Conservative administration, during that period, amounted to $3,014,035.01. If we deduct from that total the amount of surpluses, or $57,512.05, We find that there was for that period a deficit of $2,956,522.96. Now, if we take the average for that period under Conservative rule, we shall find that, for the seventeen years referred to, the yearly average of deficits was $173,913.11.

The Conservative government having succeeded in showing small surpluses in the last years of their administration, it may perhaps have occurred to them that it entered into the views of divine Providence to maintain them in power ; but we know beyond a doubt that, even had they succeeded in having a small surplus, after piling up deficits for so many years, that result was due not to a policy of economy-for implies a wise and judicious expenditure of the public moneys-but to a cheese-paring policy by which the public service was starved and stinted ; a policy by which they put off from year to year equipping the road and repairing the rolling stock. As a consequence, the road went on losing in value and in power. But, as I said, when the present government came into power, a change came over the country.

Now, if we compare the five years, under Liberal rule, with the last five years of the last decade under Conservative rule, we shall find that during those last five years, there was a deficit of $2,155,327.54, or an average yearly deficit of $431,065.50.

The Intercolonial, as I said, occupies a most conspicuous position among American and European railways. It Is true that, last year, through unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances, there was a considerable deficit. But before entering into a review of the causes which brought about that deficit, let me call attention to the fact that, if we take the last five years, under Liberal rule, and compare the deficits with the total revenues of the road, so as to find the percentage of the loss to the country in each year, we find an average of $115,158.72 out of a total of $19,246,336.89 of gross earnings, or the equivalent of 167 per cent, whereas, for the first five years of the last decade under Conservative rule, out of a total of $17,566,831.20 of gross earnings, we find a deficit of $2,155,327.54, or a difference of 8-14 per cent. These figures show a difference of 7 per cent in favour of the present administration, notwithstanding those extraordinary and unlooked for deficits which, later on, I shall try to explain, to the best of my ability. But though I may not be able to do full justice to the subject I am handling, I may say that the figures speak for themselves and are. as it were, self-explanatory ; and so, the French-speaking members of this House will give due credit to the hon. Minister of Railways for his management of the railway.

I may say that this deficit was brought about through a combine of the coal dealers who suddenly raised the price of coal by $2.10 ; coal, in previous years, having always sold at $3.20 a ton, after tenders had been called. So, the government had to pay $1.10 a ton more for cnal than in former years. That change in the price of coal involved an additional expenditure of $350,000. The hon. Minister of Railways could j not stop operating the railway, and had to J Mr. TURGEON.

pay the price asked for coal. Even had the price been $4 a ton, he would have had to operate the railway all the same. This accounts largely for the deficit which the Conservative papers have so bitterly criticised of late.

There is also the increase of wages paid to the workingmen on the Intercolonial bv the hon. Minister of Railways and I must say that, upon that occasion, he has shown great generosity towards the workingmen. At the very moment when that increase in the price of coal was being brought about by the combine of coal dealers, which created such a sensation all through the country, the hon. Minister of Railways did not hesitate to grant to the employees on the Intercolonial an increase of wages amounting to $200,000. Could not the hon. Minister of Railways have said, when the increase in the price of coal was known : [DOT]' I am now confronted by a state of things which was altogether unexpected, and which will create a deficit in the operation of the Intercolonial. In order to make up for it, I am going to cancel the increase of wages of from 10 to 20 cents a day I had decided to give those poor operatives on the railway.' Is there a man in this House, having at heart the interests of the working classes, who would have been lacking in patriotism to the point of suggesting to the hon. Minister of Railways to cancel the increase of pay granted to those poor workingmen and employees 7 I do not believe, Sir, that there could' have been found a man willing to offer such a suggestion, and had there been found one, he would have been unworthy of the confidence of his constituents. So those two additional expenditures of $390,000 caused by the raise in the price of coal, and the expenditure of $200,000 resulting from the increase of the pay of the workingmen who theretofore received only from $1 to $1.10 a day and from the general raise of the wages of the employees, those I say, are the two causes which account for the deficit.

As I said a little while ago, the hon. Minister of Railways has kept steadily developing and improving the equipment of the government railways, and not from day to day, as was the case under the former management who neglected their repairs and kept their rolling stock in an inefficient condition.

He knew that if he could not meet his expenditure one year, he was bound all the same to go on with the task of making the i'oad the safest for the passengers and the most favourable for the transportation of goods.

Moreover, there was this year an overcharge for coal. The minister had just ordered repairs to the road bed to the amount of $200,000. Following in the steps of his predecessors, he could have made an apparent saving in striking out these $200,000 ; but he does not intend to run the road from day to day ; he is building for the future, and he will be ready, at a given

time, to carry all tlie traffic that the provinces of Ontario and Quebec will be able to send, and also all the traffic that may come to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia from Great Britain.

Then taking into account the increase of $200,000 in the wages of the staff, a further amount of $200,000 expended on the roadbed and an extra sum of $1.10 on every ton of coal consumed by the railway, we arrive to the total amount of $750,000, which is more than required to wipe out the apparent deficit, and which has been expended wholly for the benefit of the trade and the advantage of the employees of the road.

At Six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.



House in Committee on Bill (No. 37) to incorporate the Sprague's Falls Manufacturing Company (Limited).-Mr. Emmerson.


John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)


This is the Bill for which the Minister of Justice was to prepare an amendment.

Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.


I understand that some agreement was made across the House in regard to this Bill. I think the committee had better rise and let the Bill stand until the promoter is present. I move that the committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again.

Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. McCREARY moved the second reading of Bill (No. 79) to incorporate the Crown Bank of Canada.


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

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

I take this opportunity of calling the attention of the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) to the general question of incorporation of banks in this country. We have a general Act regarding banking, but the law is still in such a condition that parties who wish to go into the banking business in Canada must apply for an Act of this parliament to authorize them to do so. I think the time has come when the general banking Act should be so amended that any corporation, or syndicate of persons who wish to engage in banking might embark in that enterprise without applying for an Act of parliament. We have three of these applications before us this session, and we have some every session, 64J

If there is anything this country requires to-day it ds increased banking facilities. It is for that reason that I make the suggestion to the Minister of Finance that he should have the General Banking Act so amended that parties who wish to go into banking could do so on filing .the necessary papers, showing that they' have the necessary capital and giving proper undertakings to abide by the law in every respect. During the last year, in one way and another, I have had occasion to discuss, to a considerable extent, the question of banking. So far as I can gather, apparently everybody wiho has any authority or interest in banking says we have the best banking system in the world. It certainly is the best system in the world for those engaged in banking. Our bank shares to-day are, on the average, worth double their face value, and banking is found to be a very profitable business. Our banks are all branching out, and, as the country is growing-as we are all glad to know it is-there is a necessity for increased .banking accommodation. That being the case, I think the banks ought to be allowed to increase their capital stock without application to parliament, and financial men who wish to start a new bank ought to be free to do so by complying with the necessary forms, as I have suggested. As it is these banks have to make application for a special Act and they have also to comply with the law by filing certain statements with the department. I think this all ought to be embraced in one Act, and that, by filing letters of incorporation with the Department of Finance, and going through the necessary forms, they should be able to take out a license to carry on a banking business. As I have said, there is room for any amount of increased banking accommodation in this country. It seems to me that if the law were what it should be, instead of having .three or four new banks projected, we would have a dozen started in various parts of the country within the next twelve months.


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

If any practical difficulty had arisen in the experience of the department in connection with the matters to which .the hon. gentleman (Mr. Maclean) has referred, or if any practical inconvenience had been felt, I should be disposed to sympathize with him. But up to this time, I have not heard any complaint whatever of inconvenience arising from the present system. As to the fact the hon. gentleman mentions, that the bank stocks stand at a high figure, I take it that we all feel that general business is in a better condition when bank stocks stand at a high than at a low figure. As between the two, the present condition of things is to be preferred. I do not wish, however, to discuss the general question of the banking

system. But X might point out that the hon. gentleman is mistaken in supposing, as he apparently does, that it is necessary for a bank to come to parliament for power to increase its capital. The Banking Act makes provision for the increase of a bank's capital in a very simple way. A form is prescribed and regulations provided under which, on application to the Treasury Board, in a very summary way, a bank may obtain leave to increase its capital. It is necessary, however, for new banks to come to this parliament for their charters. But the lines of those charters are so clearly laid down that it amounts to a merely formal application. If the applicants comply with the conditions, practically, the application is never refused. The hom. gentleman may say that, in that case, it would be as well to give the charter by executive as by parliamentary action. But, on the other hand, the banking system is a very important part of the business of the country, and I think parliament would like to feel that it reserved to (itself control of this matter rather than that it had handed it over to the control of the government. At any rate, I am satisfied that no practical inconvenience has arisen through the present system; and while, theoretically, what the hon. gentleman says seems right enough, I think this is one of those cases where we should be wise to let well enough alone.


David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)


I agree with what the Finance Minister (Hon. Mr. Fielding) has said. It seems to me we give greater stability to our chartered banks by having each of them incorporated by a special Act of parliament than if we adopted any method that, to the general public, might seem more loose. In no instance is a new bank organized in a month or two. It generally takes a full year at any rate. Therefore, it causes no loss of time for men who desire to engage in banking to be obliged to come to parliament and get a charter in the regular way. To my mind, the proposal of the hon. member for East York (Mr. Maclean) would take away a great deal of the stability that we think belongs to our banking institutions. I think our banks will have better standing if they are required to come to parliament to get their charters.


Motion agreed to, and Bill read the second time.


April 2, 1902