Duncan Cameron Fraser
Of course they would buy more if there were more manufacturers ; but how does the ex-minister suppose that sixty-five people are going to be made rich by feeding fifteen people, the proportion between farmers and manufacturers ? I say that the more men you have consuming things produced on farms the better ; but I deny these things are going to be brought about by protection, because while admitting that you may aid a few men, you are hindering the great body of the people. Canada for 68
the Canadians, I hear ; but every time it is Canada for the few. I am in favour of Canada for the Canadians. I am in favour of laying tribute on every country under the sun, in order that Canada may be made greater than it is. But I refuse to acknowledge that Canada for the Canadians means Canada for the favoured few. They wish to build up a wall by which the Canadians are fleeced. Is that Canada for the Canadians ? Give every man a fair show, and then the best conditions will be realized.
One thing I wish to say to the right hon. leader of the government, and I say it with all the more ease because he is absent. If he has done nothing else, he has since 1896 done more to cement together all the races and creeds in Canada than all the men in Canada before him. I venture to make this observation, that the Protestants of Canada understand our Catholic fellow-citizens, and have a better and higher idea of them than sometimes in our narrowness we had before, and our Catholic fellow-citizens, I think, understand us better and hold better relations with us than they did before. We talk of protection to help the few ; but the men who can bring Canadians together, whether they be English, Scotch, Irish, French, German, or any other nationality, and cement them together as Canadians, does more than any other man or combination of men can do by any other method. Is there not today a better feeling among our people ? I venture to make the statement, Mr. Speaker, that hereafter it will be impossible to raise the racial and religious cries that formerly prevailed in Canada. I think the good sense of the people of Canada will frown down any attempt of that kind. It may be that some would-be politicians will have to go out of business. Thank God if they do go out of business, when the general community is coming to understand better what will lead to the higher development of Canada. I wish to say this as a Protestant, that the right hon. leader of the government will leave a name for thus doing that will be green in Canada so long as men worship at different altars or trace their families back to the various nations of the world.
The hon. leader of the opposition made a western trip. I was not invited to go with him nor can I speak of what happened from personal observation. But four things followed, which we all know. We know that from the extreme west the first answer that came to that movement which was going to result in the defeat of the government, was the election in Burrard of a government supporter without opposition. The opposition there, even after this visit of their leader to the west, could not muster among them a candidate. Then there came an answer from central Canada, given in the election in North Ontario. Everybody knows the result of that election. Following that came the voice of the far east, in the Yarmouth election, where the Liberal majority
of 250 at the general election was raised to the overwhelming one of 800 or 900. These are the results which followed the preaching of the Conservative gospel by the leader of the opposition. But perhaps my hon. friend was unfortunate in his choice of the gentlemen who accompanied him and they may have spoiled the good he must otherwise have done. The hon. gentleman had occasion to attend a banquet in his own province in the town of Sydney. Here let me say that, and as a rule, Mr. Speaker, we run local politics in Nova Scotia on the same lines as federal politics. On his way to that banquet, my hon. friend passed through the county of Antigonish, where a local election was being held, and despite his presence the Conservative party there could not find a candidate to present himself in their interests. There are the four results which followed this remarkable tour. How can we explain these results ? I would venture to suggest that the condition of the people was such that they were too busy to turn out and take part in politics. Go to a farmer, when he iS busy gathering in the products of the soil or putting seed into the ground, and ask him to attend a political meeting and you will find that he will prefer remaining at home, where he is contented and happy, doing labour that is going to bring him in profits, than to go and listen to the arguments of hon. gentlemen who want to make him dissatisfied with his lot. With the sun shining, with tliet blessing of Providence in his work, with every man busy, he will take no chances, he will not seek to change his present condition, and that) is1 why my hon. friend cannot get followers.
Mr. Speaker, this is a country of vast extent. The conditions that exist in one locality should not be allowed to colour our views of the conditions that prevail generally throughout the Dominion. I made the calculation, and was able to make the statement in Boston, which I now repeat. They were surprised to learn, but it is perfectly true, that neither in ancient nor modern times was there ever a people of the same population as the Canadians, who did as much trade per head as we have done in the last six years. No nation, not even the nation from which we have sprung-the land of all lands, Great Britain-can compare with us in that respect. We have discounted our neighbours to the south, for in those six years we have done 75 per cent more business per head than they. That is the condition of the country, and that being its condition, should not wise men draw from it the conclusion as to what is going to be best for this whole country. I heard an hon. gentleman opposite say : ' I know no
west and no east.' I am glad of it, Mr. Speaker. I do not want any question interjected into the politics of Canada which will disturb our happy relations with one another, but so soon as you propose a policy Mr. FRASER.
which will give advantages to certain people in Canada at the expense of others, you break away from that policy, which recognizes no east or west but takes the country as a whole. But when we learn the important lessons that every interest in the east and every interest in the west are joined, that no man liveth to himself as no man dieth to himself, then we will have laid down the golden rule in Canada and will perpetuate a different order of conditions to that which exists in the country to the south of us.
Men on both sides ask where is all this prosperity we are1 now enjoying coming from ? Even Liberals are surprised that these conditions should not only continue, but increase. Hon. gentlemen opposite are unable to explain, they are lost in wonder, and their wonder is no doubt mingled With regret. But the answer to the question is easy. All the prosperity we are now enjoying comes from the soil. Everything comes from) the soil-God's only foundation for a country's wealth.
When we properly appreciate that fact, we will, irrespective of party, do) what we can, not to hurt the manufacturers or any one else, but to increase the general prosperity of east, west and middle. We in the east must understand that the wealth of the country, as well as its population, is going in the next twenty-five years to be centred in that mighty west beyond Lake Superior. Shall we do anything that will injure the new settler going into that country or tend to make his burdens too heavy ? Shall we not rather see that while he pays a fair share of taxation, he shall have every advantage that ought to be given him. The future is partly in our own hands, under the beneficient power which rules over all. But let us at least join in this sentiment, that while Canada remains as she is-and long may she so remain-that while Canada remains connected with the mother of heroes and lions we shall follow in the footsteps of our motherland rather than deck ourselves out in the wretched, effete garments worn by the republicans in the country to the south of us. I fear not for the future of this country. With better ideas of our relations to one another as fellow-citizens, with more moderate and broader views of the religious and racial sentiments of the people, with every man at work the best he can to make this country prosperous, Canada is bound to go ahead with greater strides even than in the past few years. We can never suffer, as other countries have suffered, because while there is not more than 5 per cent of our good agricultural land now in use, we will be always able to supply these products which men must have, whether times be good or bad. And as the good work and policy of the present government become more and more appreciated, as the beneficial effects of their administration become more and more felt,
our lion, friends opposite will find that not even the magic lantern displays of the hon. member from North Victoria (Mr. Hughes) in an election campaign will enable them to lead the Canadian people away from their loyalty to that noblest Canadian, the right hon. Prime Minister, and those who are glad to follow his leadership, and who at the same time are quite ready to tell him when he is wrong. We have refrained from doing that, because there was no occasion. And join with all the members on this side-and I am sure that the members on the other side will join with us too in their heart's best sentiments-in believing that the interests of Canada are safer in the hands of the present government than they have been in the hands of any government that has ever held power in this country.