The POSTMASTER GENERAL (Hon. Sir William Mulock).
That speech was never franked through the mails except during the session of parliament.
That speech was never franked through the mails except during the session of parliament.
Does the hon. minister say that the speech to which I have referred had not been sent through the mails under frank before this session of parliament ?
I quite deny it.
I accept the statement. I am bound to do so, and I do it unreservedly. But I have had information that it was.
It is absolutely wrong.
Let me draw the attention of the hon. gentleman (Hon. Sir William Mulock)-who plumes himself upon doing so much for the working classes and who is now passing through this parliament a Bill to give recognition to the union label- to the fact that I have examined this pamphlet containing his speech delivered on the 4th November last in the city of Toronto, and, from cover to cover, I cannot find any trace of the so-called union label. I shall have to call the attention of the fair-wage officer to this omission, for it would be unreasonable to suppose that such an omission would be made by the Postmaster General intentionally. Let me give some extracts from the speech the hon. gentleman made referring to the British preference:
In framing that tariff it appeared to the government that a preference to Great Britain would not only lead to the advantage of Canada but of the mother country as well. (Hear, hear.) Here was our country, of vast, illimitable yet undeveloped resources practically without a neighbour in America willing to trade with her on fair terms, whilst across the ocean was our mother country that has ever been Canada's true friend and whose market was open to us. True, we were selling to her, comparatively little for Canada's resources were little known in the old land. Still, it appeared to us that our trade with her was capable of great development if we proceed the right way about it. (Hear, hear.) Aye, more, there was the opportunity of setting an example which, if followed, might yet secure to us on preferential terms the markets not only of Great Britain herself, but also of her world-wide possessions. (Applause.) Surely, Sir, when every foreign nation was and is hedging itself round with a tariff wall in order to shut out the produce of all other countries, our manifest duty
was and is to lay foundations for devoloping our trade in the only profitable market likely to be accessible to us-the great British world-empire of four hundred millions to which we are so proud to belong. (Cheers.)
I wish the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), who made such an elaborate argument for renewing negotiations for reciprocity with the United States, had listened to the statement made by the Postmaster General that the British market was the only profitable market likely to be accessible to us. I quote further :
In this spirit, Mr. Chairman, we inaugurated a policy of that nature in 1897, when we placed our British preference on the statute-book of Canada. (Hear, hear.) Our opponents say we should have dickered for value in return. (Oh ! oh ') It is true we did not dicker for value in return. When did Great Britain ever dicker with us about getting value in return, when on many occasions she was prepared to pour out her money and her men in defence of the sacred soil of Canada ? (Hear, hear.) No, Mr. Chairman, we adopted another and higher course, treating Great Britain not as an alien country, but as our mother country-(cheers)-and with that liberality which she has ever shown us, conscious that ingratitude is not one of her faults and with some hope that as changing conditions admitted of it, our example might by degrees be followed by Great Britain herself, and by other portions of the empire, until at last each portion might enjoy throughout the whole empire trade advantages not shared in by foreign nations. (Loud cheers.)
How has Great Britain treated us since we granted her this preference ? Till then our produce was little known or appreciated in her markets and much was sold under the name ' America.' Now it no longer enters that market under an alias, but under its true name ' Canada.' (Hear, hear.) That name is now popular, respected and beloved in England, and sells our produce and wins for it a preference, thus increasing the demand for Canadian products. (Cheers.) In consequence, since the establishment of the preference live years ago our farmers have sold more and more of their products in the British market, the total value having increased from about $47,000,000 in 189S-7 to over $80,000,000 in 1902. Nor have our manufacturers been less favoured, for in the same period their sales to Great Britain have increased over 100 per cent. (Applause.)
This was a doubled-barrelled advantage we were getting. We were vastly increasing our sales of agricultural products and also increasing our sales of manufactures by 100 per cent under the preference.
Sir, these results are not accidents, but the direct result of our British preference, which our opponents wish to repeal. With such magnificent results as these within the short space of five years, what may we not reasonably expect as the years roll by ? Nor does it seem an idle dream to hope that our example may be followed by the rest of the empire. Already the leaven appears to be working, for, as you are aware, a resolution was unanimously adopted by Australia, New Zealand, Cape Colony and Natal, at the imperial conference held in London three months ago, favouring an interimperial tariff prefernce and suggesting action in that direction by the mother country.
Take it as read.
Let me read it for the hon. gentleman (Mr. Campbell), and I hope it will do him some good :
The Liberal party is seeking to build up Canada in political as well as commercial alliance with the rest of the empire, to that end establishing, as fast as circumstances permit, steamship lines with South Africa, Australia and the mother country, promoting with them trade and interchange of sentiment by improved mail and cable services, rejoicing at the completion of the Pacific cable, the thin, all-red line now connecting together the great self-governing colonies.
I have taken the liberty of reading tbat, because I thought hon. gentlemen opposite would like to hear it. Now, Mr. Speaker, that statement was made on the fourth of November, 1902, the other statements which I read were made by the Prime Minister in 1897 and 1898. The Colonial Conference was held in London from June to August last, four months before the Postmaster General made the statements in the city of Toronto which I have read. Let me draw the attention of this House to the fact that on page one of the official report of the conference proceedings it is pointed out that these gentlemen absolutely declined to have the statements they made at that conference published ; they declined to allow their constituents, the people of Canada, to know what statements they made in discussing these matters of prime importance to Canada, with the Colonial Secretary and those associated with him. They absolutely refused to allow their utterances to be published in this blue-book, and we have only the utterances of the imperial ministers and those associated with them, and the tabulated statements which appear at the end of the book, to guide us as to what took place at that conference. I turn to page thirty-seven of the report of this conference, and I find the following significant statement
Prom the beginning of the proceedings the Canadian ministers have claimed that in consideration of the substantial preference given by Canada for some years to the products of the mother country, Canadian food products should be exempted in the United Kingdom from the duties recently imposed. Representations to this effect previously made through the High Commissioner for Canada were supplemented by the ministers, both in writing and in the personal interviews with the imperial ministers The Canadian ministers desired to have it understood that they took this course with the strong hope and expectation that the principle of preferential trade would be more widely acepted by the colonies, and that the mother country would at an early day apply the same principle by exempting the products of the colonies from customs duties. If, after using every effort to bring about such a readjustment of the fiscal policy of the empire, the Canadian government should find that the principle of preferential trade is not acceptable to the colonies generally or the mother country, then Canada should be free to take such action as might be deemed necessary in the presence of such conditions.
Sir, the bon. gentleman who made the speech from which I quoted was present when this conference was being held, he was present when these memoranda were being prepared and presented to the imperial authorities by himself and his associates; yet three or four months afterwards in the city of Toronto he says :-
In this spirit, Mr. Chairman, we inaugurated a policy of that nature. Our opponents say we should have dickered for value in return. It is true we did not dicker for value in return.
Yet he makes it a sine qua non that unless the British government give them something in return for the preference, notwithstanding the statements which the hon. gentleman made of the advantage this country was deriving, the Canadian government felt itself free to withdraw the preference and to deprive Canada of the advantages which it was obtaining. Was that statesmanship gone mad, or what would you call it, Mr. Speaker ? This preference that was rapidly increasing the volume of our sales, this preference out of which the Dominion was reaping such substantial advantage, which was developing the imperial spirit which the hon. gentleman so much commends when he is addressing audiences in the province of Ontario, this preference is now being wiped out by the hon. gentlemen because of the action of Germany respecting the admission of Canadian products. Sir, it was unworthy of the Postmaster General, when he was addressing an audience in Toronto, not to have told that audience that three months before the Canadian government had given notice to the imperial authorities that they held themselves absolved from continuing that preference any longer, and they were prepared to break it unless they gave Canada a quid pro quo.
Nothing of the kind.
Unless Great Britain would make a dicker with them and give them something in return for the preference we were giving, they held themselves absolved from continuing that preference to Great Britain, thereby destroying the reputation which some person had given them of being empire builders. Sir, I leave it with the hon. gentleman and his friends to explain why he declined to take the people of Toronto, in November, 1902, into his confidence, and tell them that this government had given notice to the imperial authorities that unless the imperial authorities made a dicker with them the preference would have to go by the board.
Never gave any such notice. Don't state what is not the fact.
Let me read it again, lest I should have made a mistake, as my eyesight is not as good as it used to be
The Canadians ministers desired to have it understood that they took this course with the strong hope and expectation that the principle of preferential trade would be more widely accepted by the colonies, and that the mother country would at an early day apply the same principle by exempting the products of the colonies from customs duties. If, after using every effort to bring about such a readjustment of the fiscal policy of the empire, the Canadian government should find that the principle of preferential trade is not acceptable to the colonies generally, or the mother country, then Canada should be free to take such action as might be deemed necessary in the presence of such conditions.
Yet it is asserted that there is no dickering there, no attempt to get something in return for the preference which we had given, because of our appreciation of that splendid liberty which Britain had given to us. We had our compensation, yet we had our eye on the main chance; and in addition to recognizing the advantages which we enjoyed from that liberty which Britain had secured for us, we were reaping a substantial benefit from the preference by an enormous increase in the sales of our products in the markets of the United Kingdom. Sir, the hou. gentleman took great credit to himself and his friends for that matter. Let me draw attention to the fact that not many years ago when he and his political associates were fighting for unrestricted reciprocity, were fighting for continental free trade, those who then were charged with the administration of public affairs pointed to the market of the old land as
the best, the safest and the most permanent market for the surplus products of this country. Did they -receive any encouragement, any support, apy countenance from the Postmaster General when they were trying to impress upon himself and his colleagues of the Liberal party that they should abandon the attempt to give_ the United States a preference in the market of Canada, and that they should endeavour to develop a trade with the mother country that would make Canada independent of the United States, and not the vassal she would have been if she had adopted the policy of commercial union ? When his attention was drawn to the fact that this policy of commercial union meant giving an advantage in the markets of Canada to the products of the workshops of the United States over the products of the workshops of the United Kingdom, did he ever raise his voice against that policy ? No, Sir, but he now asks the people of Toronto and the people of Canada to give him credit because the government are now assuming the role of empire builders, and are giving Britain an advantage of 33J per cent on her products in the markets of Canada. Let me read what the late Sir John Thompson said with regard to the policy which should prevail in Canada :
We believe that the markets of Great Britain are the greatest markets for the products of this country, and whether or not a preference
is given to our products in the British markets, we will not not submit to a policy by which our people shall jeopardize that market, and which shall exclude the products of that country from ours.
Sir, that was not, the policy which the Postmaster General was supporting then ; that was not the policy which those who are now associated with him in the administration of the affairs of this country were promulgating and supporting. The hon. gentleman is not frank enough to give credit for the splendid increase of our exports to the mother country, to those who established that policy, and who propounded it and worked for its accomplishment. But if the hon. gentleman and those associated with him had been sincere, if they had pursued a straightforward course when they came into office, they would have gone manfully to the United States and asked for unrestricted reciprocity, because they said we could never become prosperous unless our farmers had access to the markets of the United States. They had not the courage of their convictions, and it is a good thing for Canada that they had not. Our farmers were forced to send their surplus products to the markets of the old land and compete there on equal terms with the products of other countries. The expansion of our export trade to Britain has gone on steadily. The hon. gentleman has done nothing to promote it except to give that sentimental advantage of the British preference, and yet he asks the electors of Toronto and the electors of Ontario to give himself and his colleagues all the credit for the wonderful development in British trade that has taken place. What did his colleague, the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, say when the statement of Sir John Thompson, which I have just quoted, was made in his presence ? He said :
The hon. gentleman has indulged in a very absurd misrepresentation of the real value and importance of the English market to Canada. He makes a tremendous mistake if he believes that the English market is likely to be available to us for all or more than a portion or our products. There cannot be found any market in the world to compare for one moment with the market offered by the United States.
His colleague was a false prophet, was he not, according to the speech of the hon. gentleman himself, because the sales of our products in the markets of Great Britain are increasing enormously ? The right hon. gentleman was a false prophet six or seven years ago. He added :
They alleged to us the superior value of the British market. That market, at the best, is a second rate and second best market and the-only true and really valuable market is that along our southern border.
The hon. Minister of Customs, whose speech we listened to so patiently to-night, said :
We heard the Minister of Finance boasting because our trade with Great Britain Increased.
He added :
I feel that there Is a little drawback to the joy which we experience in the expansion of our trade with Great Britain, because it has resulted from the fact that another and a better market nearer by has been closed to us for much we have to sell ; and our products, being shut out from the United States, had to find the market that is open to all the world in England.
The lion. Minister of Customs could take no consolation in years gone by out of the increase in the sales of our products in the markets of England because he said they were barred out of a better market and that they found the market in England in competition with the products of the world. Is that not the condition to-day in England ?
One word more in regard to the surtax and then I shall apologize and take my seat.
I must apologize again for having taken up so much of the time of the House when lion, gentlemen are anxious to get away. The relations of England with the German fatherland are being imperilled as the result of this curious piece of statecraft on the part of lion, gentlemen opposite. We cannot forget that these imperial Houses are closely identified, we cannot forget that the august sovereign of the German Empire is a grandson of our late beloved Queen Victoria and that he is the nephew of our most gracious Sovereign King Edward VII. We all recognize the power, the influence and the virility of the German people. I wish we had more of these people settling in the Domin-Canada. They have been among our best settlers ever since settlers sought the snores of Canada. There are two counties in the province of Ontario to which we can point with pride which are settled by Germans, and which, as a result of their indus-tiy, integrity and self-denial, have bloomed and blossomed as the rose. These people are endowed with qualities that go to make the very best citizens, but the result of the action of hon. gentlemen opposite may be to divert the stream of German emigration from Canada towards some other country. When we look back to the heroic struggle of the German people to obtain that precious liberty which they now enjoy, we cannot but admire them. We recognize the proud position that the German empire occupies to-day among the great powers of the world and we must attribute to the vital energy of her people the wonderful strides and the grand position which she occupies to-day. If hon. gentlemen opposite had made friendly representations and explanations to the German authorities there would have been no occasion to adopt such a drastic measure as they have proposed. The German emperor apparently was not aware that he was dealing with resourceful politicians. If an increase has taken place in the export of goods from England to Canada during the last five years, that increase is due almost entirely to the importation of German goods and goods made on the continent
coming by way of England under the British preference. Two years ago I took the liberty of asking the hon. Minister of Finance a question about the imposition of taxation on goods made partially in Germany or made from German raw material. I' asked this question :
Is it the intention of the government to 30 amend the tariff Act as to debar from the advantage of the British preferential clause articles partly manufactured in Germany, or manufactured from raw material grown or produced in Germany ?
Mr. GEORGE BALL (Nicolet).
(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I would be failing in my duty, as a representative in this House of the French minority, were I not to say a few words before the question is put. For the last fortnight I have followed with much interest the discussion which has taken place in connection with the budget. Barring the speech, or financial statement, made by the hon. the Minister of Finance, barring also the able criticism of that statement offered by the leader of the opposition and two or three other addresses on either side of the House, very little remains of the debate which has been going on. It is not, therefore, my intention to take up the time of the House for any length of time.
We listened with interest this evening to the speech of the hon. the Minister of Customs (Hon. Mr. Paterson). He dealt for about an hour with tomatoes, onions and other truck. Truly, one would have been led to believe that the cabinet was made up of market gardeners.
The hon. member for Gasp6 (Mr. Le-mieux) also spoke briefly. He dwelt at some length on by-elections, giving, even, a full list of them. I shall not follow him on that ground, but shall refer only to the one which took place in Maskinongg. Previous to that election there was one man in this House with only one arm. Likely the government envied the opposition on that account, and they chose as their candidate a man in the same predicament. I was so pleased at this that I managed to have him elected by acclamation.
The hon. member for Gaspe referred also to Mr. Foster. He stated that the hon. gentleman had gone up for election, but had been defeated. The member for Gasp6 did not say what had brought about Mr. Foster's defeat. Well, I shall tell you. Mr. Foster was not returned because he had opposed the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company; and the same thing will happen to you should you obstruct the company's Bill. You will be defeated at the
next election. You may think I am joking, but I am in earnest.
I shall not deal with the tariff; enough has been said on that matter. At this late hour, I prefer cutting my speech short, and allowing the question to be put. No doubt, you will be pleased; on seeing me rise, you said to yourselves : Ball will take up our time for a whole hour. I am going to disappoint you.
House divided on amendment of Mr. Borden (Halifax).
Avery, Johnston (Cardwell),
Borden (Halifax), Leonard,
Boyd, Maclaren (Perth),
Carscallen, Reid (Grenville),
Clancy, Roche (Marquette),
Cochrane, Smith (Wentworth),
Fowler, Thomson (Grey),
NAYS : Messieurs
Borden (Sir Frederick), MacLaren (Huntingdon),
Costigan, Marcil (Bagot),
Davis, Marcil (Bonaventure),
Demers (Ldvis), Matheson,
Demers (St. John), Mayrand,
Emmerson, (Sir William),
Fortier, Mr. BALL. Power,
Gauvreau, Reid (Restigouche),
Girard, Robinson (Elgin),
Gould, Roche (Halifax),
Grant, Ross (Rimouski),
Harty, Ross (Victoria, N.S.),
Hughes (King's, P.E.I.),Scott,
Hyman, Smith (Vancouver),
Johnston (Cape Breton),Stephens,
Lang, Sutherland (Oxford),
Laurier (Sir Wilfrid), Talbot,
Laurier (L'Assomption), Tobin.
(Sir Richard), (Sir Charles Hibbert)
Johnston (Lambton), Simmons,
Ross (Ontario), Hughes (Victoria),
Sutherland (Essex), Northrup,
Ross (Yukon), Roddick,
Amendment negatived, and House went into Committee of Ways and Means.
Committee rose and reported progress.
On motion of the Prime Minister, House adjourned at 2.40 a.m. Friday.
Friday, May 1, 1903.