September 23, 1903

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Quite so ; but when I ask what is to prevent the Grand Trunk Company from carrying the traffic to Portland, my hon. friend says he relies on the patriotism of the Canadian shipper. Then he does not invoke sections 42 and 43 as his security, but Canadian patriotism.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

The appeal to his patriotism need not be very strong ; when to it is added the fact that he gets as low a rate to a Canadian port, as to an American port, he will respond to it very quickly.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The one thing, however, that we have to remember is that Canadian patriotism is not created by sections 42 and 43, that it exists without it ; therefore the argument of my hon. friend has not much force.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend thinks Canadian patriotism will not

exist with it, because he says the traffic will go to an American port.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

My argument was not to that effect; at all. It was that Canadian patriotism existed long before the Minister of Finance entered public life. It existed notwithstanding some of his efforts to detach his own province from the Dominion ; when he said that Nova Scotia could get along without Canada. My hou. friend seems to have a different opinion now, but he need not make any suggestions to tills side of the House on patriotism.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I had no desire to receive a lecture on either consistency or patriotism from my hon. friend.

, I will compare motes with him on these matters on any platform in this country at any time he wishes.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I am willing to compare.notes on any platform with my hou. friend, and I think that his record in that respect will not justify him very much in the opinion of the electorate. The hon. gentleman deliberately stated in the province of Nova Scotia that the maritime provinces had better secede from this Dominion. There is no doubt about that; that was his attitude. If I am not mistaken, he refused to observe the natal day of this Dominion during the time he was premier of Nova Scotia, and he never really was inspired by these proud feelings of Canadian patriotism which now actuate him until he came into this parliament some seven years ago. Since that time we have heard a great deal about patriotism, which apparently did not exist in that hon. gentleman's breast until that time.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

All these questions have been threshed out in the province of Nova Scotia. We have had ample opportunity of discussing them, and the record of my humble services in that province and the appreciation which the people have shown for them, are, I venture to say, a sufficient answer to the hon. gentleman's statement. It was my good fortune for many years to be before the people of that province. While I differed from many of them on many things, I think I can point with satisfaction to the verdict which they gave on many occasions, in spite of the course my hon. friend has pursued. I have listened with considerable interest to him since I have heard him talk of what the national policy and Sir John Macdonald and the Conservative party have done for Canada. Let me tell him that he did not always talk in that strain. If I were to take the pains to hunt up his record, many passages might be quoted from his speeches, if they were reported, which would not be altogether in harmony with his adulation of Sir John Macdonald and the national policy.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The hon. gentleman has made that statement in the Hon. Mr. FIELDING.

House twice before, and I challenged him then, as I challenge him now, to mjike good the statement. I trust that until he is able to answer that challenge, he will not again repeat statements which I have twice denied before.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend is fortunate perhaps in having made his speeches at a time when they failed to receive very much attention, and failed to be reported in the press. I have under-stood-let us not mince words now-that my hon. friend, up to a comparatively recent date, long after the national policy was proclaimed, counted himself a member of the Liberal party. I believe he acknowledged himself to be a member of the Liberal party until the agitation arose in Nova Scotia on the question of repeal.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I am going to give the hon. gentleman the benefit of that although it is debateable. I understood that my hon. friend was a very good Liberal in Nova Scotia until long after the! national policy was promulgated. I am informed and believe that he took the stump in one of the counties of Nova Scotia in support of a Liberal candidate against the national policy.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I never mentioned the national policy or Sir John Macdonald on any stump in my life up to 1890.

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CON

Edward Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

Take it back.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend must give me a more frank denial than that if I am to take it back. I 'sa,idl that I understood that the hon. gentleman had taken the stump on behalf of'a Liberal candidate in one of the counties of Nova Scotia who was running as an opponent of the national'policy. If my hon. friend denies that I will withdraw the statement.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I made a five minutes speech in 1882-the only political speech I ever made in my life up to 1896- in support of my kinsman, the Minister of Militia. In that speech I made no reference to the national policy or to the trade policy. I am inconsistent to that extent, if my hon. friend regards it as inconsistent, but I am not ashamed of having made that speech or supported that gentleman. Probably if I were not so actively engaged in public life, personal considerations might induce me to support him again. I would not be ashamed to do so, but I do not want my hon. friend to understand on that account that I am guilty of one-hundredth part of the inconsistencies of which he stands convicted in this House to-day. Did he or did he not in Nova Scotia himself move a resolution against the duties on foodstuffs, denouncing those duties as having been created in the interests of the Ontario mil-

lers, and calling on the Dominion government to repeal them? And has he not, In the last seven years, been acting as Finance Minister without taking a step to carry out the resolution he then proposed ? Which does he regard as a greater inconsistency-that five minutes speech of which I am not ashamed, or his own attitude as a minister of the Crown, faced with his own resolution in the Nova Scotia legislature calling these duties odious and hateful, and yet remaining seven years a minister of the Crown of Canada and permitting these very duties to continue to be inflicted on the people of his province ? Is he or is he not the same gentleman who advocated in Nova Scotia-advocated because he was forced to do so, and hot because he believed in it-the secession of all the maritime provinces from the Dominion ? And this is the gentleman who is lecturing me about inconsistency.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

No, the lecture began on that side.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Is he or is he not the same gentleman who in Nova Scotia, on more than one platform, denounced the duties on coal and iron and told the people they had better give their attention to agriculture and fishing ? And is he not the same gentleman who during this very session submitted a resolution in this parliament to encourage these very industries of coal and iron ? Is he or is he not the same gentleman who went through the province of Nova Scotia and denounced on every public platform the alleged extravagance of the Conservative administration of this Dominion, and who has since made a record of himself as a spendthrift Minister of Finance ? Is he not the same gentleman who went through Nova Scotia denouncing protection in every shape and form, and who now, as Finance Minister, has a tariff in force which his own friends are commending as a protective tariff to the manufacturers of Canada ? Does the hon. gentleman charge me with inconsistency ? Is there not something said somewhere about the man who desired to pull the mote out of his neighbour's eye and had no regard for the beam in his own ? I do not want to discuss these old issues, and only refer to them because of some sneering observations which the hon. gentleman made in reply to myself concerning the patriotism of hon. gentlemen on this side. We know, with regard to Canadian patriotism, what is the hon. gentleman's record.

I did not introduce this discussion, but if the hon. gentleman desires a discussion of this kind, there is no reason why he should not be accommodated on any occasion.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I must correct my hon. friend when he says that I made -some sneering allusion to the patriotism of hon. gentlemen opposite. I am in the judgment of the House when I say that 3S2

I made no such allusion. So far as there has been any calling into question the consistency or patriotism of any hon. gentleman, it is my hon. friend who is in fault, and he must hold himself and not me responsible for any disagreeable consequences. With regard to the five minute speech, I take it for granted that my hon. friend does not mean to say that that was the ouly identification he had with the Liberal party. He was a member of the Liberal party, counted as such, belonging to a well-known Liberal family, and everybody in Nova SCotia looked upon him as a pronounced Liberal. Whether he made a speech of five minutes or five hours does not alter the fact that he appeared on the public platform as a champion of the Liberal candidate, opposed to the Dominion government. With regard to the question of confederation, which the hon. gentleman has brought up, I have never been ashamed of my attitude in that regard. I am not ashamed of the fact that I was an anti-confederate in the province of Nova Scotia, nor of my record on that question. No doubt many gentlemen who hear me now and who are great federationists, if they had lived in Nova Scotia in those days would have been anticonfederates. The great mass of the people, and especially the more influential classes, were anti-confederates. In fact the Conservative party would have perished years ago if they had not brought anti-confederate blood into their rank-s to help them. The hon. gentleman is not the first who joined the Conservative party. The Hon. Joseph Howe, perhaps the greatest man Nova Scotia ever produced, was an anti-confederate, but the Conservative party brought him into their ranks and made him a cabinet minister. The Hon. A. W. McLelan was an anti-confederate whom they brought into their ranks and made a cabinet minister. Sir John Thompson was an anti-confederate, and they brought him into their ranks and made him a cabinet minister, and a great one he was. If the Conservative party had been confined to their old blood, they would have perished years ago, and they were only kept alive by calling in from time to time, good, sound specimens of anti-confederate blood, some of whom I have mentioned.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I think at least my hon. friend has confessed one thing, and that is that the very best men that ever were in the anti-confederate party of Nova Scotia long since left it and joined the Conservative party.

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September 23, 1903