Sperry, Esquire, member for the electoral division of Lunenburg; introduced by Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Hon. W. S. Fielding.
Sperry, Esquire, member for the electoral division of Lunenburg; introduced by Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Hon. W. S. Fielding.
Bill (No. 96) respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.-Mr. German. Bill (No. 97) respecting the Pacific and Atlantic Railway Company.-Mr. Tolmie. Bill (No. 98) respecting the Trust and Loan Company of Canada.-Mr. Doherty. Bill (No. 99) respecting the Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway and Navigation Company.-Mr. Burrell.
LEWIS (West Huron) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 100) respecting oaths. He said: For a considerable number of years there has been a feeling throughout the mother land, as evidenced by newspaper editorials I now have one before me the Stratford 'Beacon,' November, 1909, as well as in Canada, that the mode of administering oaths by kissing the book is insanitary-unsanitary. I do not mean to treat the matter lightly, I used the word ' insanitary ' because that is the way in which it is described in some of the papers which are discussing it. There have been frequent efforts made in the imperial government to change that mode. I may say that I have a precedent for the Bill I now propose. On the 31st of December last a Bill was passed in the British parliament almost identically to the same effect as the Bill I now propose. This Bill reads as follows:
Section 1. This Bill may be cited as the Oath Act, 1910.
Section 2. (1) Any oath may be administered and taken in the form and manner following : The person taking the oath shall hold the New Testament in his uplifted hand (or, in the case of a Jew, the Old Testament), and shall say, or repeat, after the officer administering the oath, the words, ' I swear by Almighty God that (followed by the words of the oath prescribed by law).
(2) The officer shall (unless the person about to take the oath voluntarily objects thereto, or is physically incapable of so taking the oath) administer the oath in the form and manner aforesaid without question, provided that in the case of a person who is not a Christian, the oath shall be administered in any manner which is now lawful.
The words ' in any manner which is now lawful ' are different from the words of the English Statutes passed on the 31st of last December. The words in the English statute are ' as nearly as may be in the form and manner aforesaid, but with such modifications of the words or ceremony as may make the same conformable to the religious
faith or Binding on the conscience of such person.' I thought it was proper that the words should be added ' in any manner which is now lawful,' in order to simplify matters when a person is not a Christian.
Section 3. In this Act the word ' officer ' is defined as including any person duly authorized to administer oaths.
Section 4. This Act shall come into operation one year from the passing thereof.
The following is another change from the English Act.
Provided, however, that after such last mentioned date the fact that the deponent kissed the Testament and took the oath as the same is now administered, will still render the person so taking the oath liable for perjury if such person swears falsely and wilfully.
Now there are a number of reasons besides the sanitary reason, why this change should be made in the mode of taking the oath. Persons of weak moral sense often think that by closing their lips when taking the oath they are evading the requirement of their conscience. There is no rule, so far as I can find, requiring the kissing of the book. I find in the Encyclopaedia of the laws of England, page, 249:
The practice of supporting a promise by an oath is probably as old as the existence of belief in a God, and it appears to have been utilized from the very earliest times to ratify and ensure the fulfilment of any special contract or undertaking.
In the same book, on page 250, I find this:
Jt does not seem possible to fix the date of the first introduction of the objectionable practice of ' kissing the book ' in swearing, for there is no trace of any direct authority for it in any Act of parliament, or rule, or book of pactice.
Until a few days ago, when the fact was called to my attention. I thought that the health objection could be overcome by opening the Testament and placing one's hand on it. But I think more importance and solemnity may be secured by the deponent holding up the book in his right or his left hand, as the case .may be, and taking the oath. Now, Sir, I ask the consideration of the First Minister and of the Minister of Justice to this Bill. A few days ago I suggested that Bills of this nature should be left to a committee to investigate; and I how urge on-the government that the Committee on Privileges and Elections, which has very little to do, and which is composed of gentlemen learned in the law, should have added to their duties the consideration of Bills regarding legal matters.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to ask the Prime Minister, who, I presume, represents the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) for the time being, when the papers will be brought down that were ordered by the House on the 22nd of November, referring to the cause of the wreck of the ' Hestia.' The Minister of Marine and Fisheries promised them before recess, but they are not down yet.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
I will inquire into the matter.
I would like to ask the right hon. gentleman, in the absence of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, if he can inform the House when the report of the two commissioners appointed to make new regulations regarding international fisheries, is likely to be laid on the table of the House. I may state the reason of my question. In the county I represent there are important herring fisheries, and the officer of the Ontario government who is in charge, has absolutely refused to grant licenses unless on terms of those heretofore passed, without waiting until the new regulations come down. It is most unfortunate for those men. They are thrown out of employment during the best part of the fishing season. I will be glad to know when the new regulations will be laid before the House.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
On Monday I will be able to inform the hon. gentleman.
Houe resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Mr. Fielding. ' That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of the Whole to consider the Ways and Means for raising the Supply to be granted to His Majesty.'
Mr. M. CLARK (Red Deer).
Mr. Speaker, you, Sir, and this House extended to me a very large measure of indulgence on the occasion of the last budget debate when I occupied perhaps more of the time of the House than was becoming in a new member. I shall endeavour to show my appreciation of that indulgence by compressing what I have to say on this occasion into the briefest possible compass. I think there are two distinct grounds on which I should like to congratulate my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) upon the statement that he made to the House. I should like to congratulate him,
as so many hon. members have done, upon the excellent financial position that his surplus showed this country to be in at the present time. That statement, following upon many others, showed that we are steadily building up a great people in a great land with a great future and a great destiny, not by booms, not by fits and starts, but by slow, steady, sure and certain progress. My hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) was not very generous in the congratulations which he offered to the Minister of Finance on this question. He elaborated to the House the point that that state of affairs was not to be attributed to anything like genius on the part of the Minister of Finance. Well, the reflection which occurs to the uninitiated upon such a remark is that it must in that case have required a very ordinary type of intellect to produce a series of deficits. I cannot help thinking that the country will take a more generous view of the ability of the Minister of Finance. But, I desire to congratulate the minister further on the fact that he was able to introduce this budget while making no increase in the tariff. I think it is well to remember in this connection, as was pointed out by the hon. member for Hoche-laga (Mr. Rivet) yesterday in an exceedingly able and thoughtful speech, that Canada has never gone to the extremes that other nations have upon this tariff question. She has never, in what is becoming a very considerable history, gone to the extreme that the old country did before the days of free trade. She has never gone to the extreme that Germany, or the United States, have done in recent years. I think that a young country like Canada can congratulate herself upon the fact that she has been able at least to map out a course of her own and keep to that course. This is all the more a matter for congratulation when we look at the condition of the extremely protectionist nations of the world to-day and the trend of opinion which, I claim, is showing itself in no unmistakable way in these nations. The extreme protectionists of the world never find support for their theory by reference to Russia. Russia is the most highly protected country of Europe. They never find support for their theory by referring to Italy. Italy is another of the most highly protected countries of Europe. It would be far from the line of my political creed to say anything offensive to any other country of the world, but I am sure that those who know the facts of the case will not claim for Russia or Italy that they are bright and shining examples of economic prosperity or national progress. Protectionists mostly base their case upon Germany or the United States. Now, I have said that there is evidence that the system of high protection is breaking down in these two countries. Only the other week the
second vice-president of the German Reichstag, addressing the Chamber of Commerce in London, a purely non-political body, a body of the acutest business men in the world, expressed the belief that the system of high protection of which Germany, France and the United States were examples, would become insupportable. Whatever might be the future development of the economic policy of Europe, he was convinced that the period of high protection was approaching its end. The other day there appeared a telegram from the city of Toledo, in the State of Ohio, embodying the information that Mr. O. J. C. Barber, a multi-millionaire and founder of the Diamond Match Company, predicted that:
The people of the United States cannot long stand the increased cost of living without a revolt, and that unless something is done for their benefit a serious clash between capital and labour might be anticipated. The railways are extorting from the people, the trusts are extorting from the people, the politicians are hoodwinking the people.
Now, Sir, I say, in the presence of opinions like these from Germany and from the United States, it is a matter for congratulation that we have had a ministry in Canada for the last thirteen years which has not gone to the extreme which these nations have gone to.
I regret, because it is a matter of regret when one differs from one's friends, that I was not fully convinced by the argument which the Minister of Finance thought it wise to offer to the House in support of bounties. The minister drew an analogy' between bounties on iron and steel and railway subsidies. I was not convinced about the clearness of the analogy. I' think it breaks down in three distinct ways. In the first place, in giving bounties on iron and steel, we give bounties on articles that we can get from abroad. We are not compelled to make them in this country. I am not now discussing the question of whether it is wiser to get them from abroad or whether it is wiser to make them at home. I am merely stating the obvious fact that steel rails can be imported. That does not apply to railways. They are not ready-made; at least, I never heard of a business of that kind. In regard to steel rails, the fact is that we must have steel rails, but we must not, from the necessities of the case, make them, while in the case of railways we must have them and we must make them. I think that on that point, in the first place, the analogy of the minister breaks down. Then, I think, in the second place, there is a difference between the two in this respect, that when you make a railway by means of subsidies you establish a general policy applicable to the whole nation. When you subsidize the building of railways and apply that policy, you adopt
the policy clearly of the whole people for the benefit of the whole people. But, I was not convinced toy anything the minister *said that in giving bounties upon iron and steel you undertake a policy toy the whole people for the toenefit of the [DOT]whole people. Why, Sir, to estaiblisii that position it would surely be necessary to give bounties upop. everything we produce, and if we tried a policy like that we should have the iron people paying money out of their pockets as a 'bounty on the production of wheat and we should have the wheat people paying money out of their pockets to help the iron people to produce iron. We should have the Canadian people engaged in the not very beneficial process of trying to make themselves ' rich by taking the money out of one pocket and putting it into another.
That is the government's policy.
Mr. M. CLARK.
No, Sir, that is not the way bounties work. The fact of the matter is that the way the system works is that one portion of the country is helped at the expense of. the rest of the country. I am reminded of a .story. A Scotchman was suffering from a disease which had proved unamenable to all the ordinary remedies, and the suggestion was made that a perfectly new remedy should be tried on him in the shape of a tune on the bagpipes. The remedy was tried. The doctor going through the hospital the next morning met the nurse in charge and said: ' How is the patient on whom we tried that extraordinary remedy yesterday? ' ' Oh,' she said, ' the Scotchman is wonderfully better, tout the other patients are all dead.'
There is a third point at which the analogy of the Minister of Finance breaks down. So far as I have been able to inform myself, a bounty is invariably accompanied by a tariff upon the article receiving the bounty. In France they have been bountying for years, if not for generations, beet sugar, but the bounty there is accompanied by a duty on sugar and the effect of the tariff and the bounty together is that the Frenchman has been paying regularly more for his sugar than the people of wiser countries who follow the common sense plan of taking their sugar from those parts of the world where Providence evidently meant it to be made. How does that work out on these bounties on iron and steel? I remember very well that last session when my friend the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) was defending with his usual ability the increased expense of the Grand Trunk Pacific railway, he mentioned as one of the causes of that increase that more had to be paid for steel rails because the duty on steel rails had been in- creased. I do not think that any one would argue in this House that when you build Mr. CLARK.
an extra railway you decrease the amount of railway accommodation or make the railroad service worse for the people of the country; but you have this remarkable position in regard to the bounties on iron and steel accompanied by a tariff here, as they are always accompanied elsewhere, that while our country is calling and calling in the loudest tone for an extension of its railroad system-and you cannot build railroads without iron and steel-you have actually this fundamental material entering into the composition of railroads made dearer and more difficult to get. Thus while by your railroad system you are trying and trying successfully to bring people nearer to the realization of one of their great needs, better transportation in this country, by the bounty system on iron and steel you are putting difficulties in the way of the development of our railroad policy.
Speaking of the general aspect of this question, high authorities differ very largely in regard to the respective merits or demerits of a bounty as compared with a tariff. Gladstone once described bounties as the worst form of protection. I suppose he was looking at the question from the point of view of a Chancellor of the Exchequer and so viewed a bounty as bringing nothing into the treasury, as a clear handout of money to some interested section of the country or some interested portion of the commercial community. Bastiat, on the other hand, while he did not regard a bounty with any particular favour, described it in a phrase which is well translated into English by the words ' plunder by premium ', but still he regarded it as not quite so bad as a tariff. His reason for this, however, was a somewhat whimsical one. His point of view I suppose was more that of a philosopher. He regarded a bounty as less harmful than a tariff simply because in his judgment the people were more likely to see through it sooner and remove it sooner. That is what happened to bounties in Great Britain, because I do not think they have paid any bounties worth speaking of since 1830, and it was sixteen years later before they established free trade by the practical abolition of tariffs.
I close my reference to this subject by expressing the hope that the time is not far distant when a nation exceptionally shrewd, exceptionally progressive, as it should be, seeing that we have come to our manhood in the fullness of the years of men, we come in the fullness of time to reap the advantage of the experience of all who have gone before us, that such a nation as Canada will not be long in finding out the folly of bounties. I would like to endorse what my hon. friend from South Grey (Mr. Miller) said when he ex-
pressed the hope that by the end of 1910 or the beginning of 1911 these bounties would disappear. Such curious views are held on this side of the Atlantic, on the matter of building up industries. We have heard a great deal about wool during this budget debate. My hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) introduced the woollen subject and if wool has not been pulled over our eyes it certainly has been pulled all over this House since. I am not very much concerned to go into the woollen industry at large, but my hon. friend from East Grey referred to the fact that there had been a decline in the number of sheep kept in the province from which I come, Alberta. I wonder it did not occur to my hon. friend to reflect that after all, if we have fewer sheep there we have more men, and that if those men are not engaged in raising sheep, they are probably engaged in some employment which they find easier for the moment and more profitable. If that be the case, I cannot see that Alberta has lost by the reduction of the tariff upon wool. I cannot see why the people of Alberta should not be employed in the kind of industry which they find most suitable and most profitable. There are reasons apart altogether from the tariff why sheep are not kept in Alberta. The fencing for sheep is difficult and the raising of horses and cattle is an easier line to get into. I speak from close experience in this matter. If the people of Alberta find that they are expanding their own fortunes and developing the country at the same time more easily by growing horses and cattle and wheat, I cannot see why we should have this mournful wail about woollens associated with the decline of the sheep industry in Alberta. The fact is that men are a good thing to be going forward in anyhow. The position of the hon. member for East Grey could be summed up in a parody of the well known lines of Goldsmith:
111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where men accumulate and sheep decay.
I cannot think that this is a grief which will be very largely shared by sensible people like the Canadians.
On this question, Sir, of the building up of industries, I should like to remind hon. gentlemen of that of -which they must be aware because the theory has been often ad-, vanced, that there is a definite natural order according to which the industries of a country grow as it passes from the earlier period of its history to that of advanced commercial civilization. Occasionally, good friends of mine on both sides of this House, taunt me in a perfectly friendly way with being a theorist. Well, that proposition is a theory but it is also a fact. It is the history of every country in
Europe, and it is the history of the United States, and it is the history of Canada so far as that history has been developed: that apart from tariff and special encouragement of bounties to certain industries there is a natural order for the development of the industries of a nation. In the early period of this journey of a nation you have primitive and pastoral agriculture. That is not theory; it is a fact illustrated in the history of every nation in the civilized world. Along with that primitive and pastoral agriculture you have primitive manufacture, for every nation in its early stages manufactures, for instance, most of its rough household furniture and of its rough clothing. As you pass from this, what I may call initial stage, a nation rapidly develops an excess of agricultural produce, and tlhe next stage in the development of its industries invariably comes because to get rid of that excess of agricultural produce the nation is compelled to develop a foreign commerce. In the intercourse of foreign commerce we compare our primitive manufactures and our primitive agriculture with the more advanced manufactures and agriculture of other nations, and there follows naturally a more advanced condition of agriculture and manufacture in the nation which is visiting these foreign lands to dispose of its excess products. That is an excellent theory, and good practice always agrees with sound theory. It is not a matter of theory only; it is a fact demonstrated by the history of all nations. There was a time not very long ago, easily remembered by the oldest people living, when the manufactures of the United States were nearly all in the east, but with the growth of population and with the intermingling of the people from the west to east, and east to west, the area of manufacturing increased, and to-day Chicago is as large a manufacturing centre as there is in the world. Apart from tariffs altogether we are now at a stage where we should have our manufactures arising in the east, and in that connection I should like to say a word on the policy known as the national policy. I do not want to say anything that may be considered of a party character, and I do not want to say anything offensive, but I do say that in my judgment the policy known as t/he national policy failed because it neglected to recognize this natural order of development; it placed the cart before the horse, it tried to build up. advanced manufacture and it neglected the agriculture of the country. The success of the present government of Canada has been due to the fact that it has to some extent at any rate reversed that process. The present government has built up an agricultural country, settled the people upon the land, and out of prosperous agriculture naturally grows manufacturing and commercial prosperity I was pleased to hear the recent
recruit to the ministry-a young man with a great deal of life, we all hope, in front of him I was pleased to hear the Minister of Labour say in emphatic tones: We must in Canada have a foreign commerce. And, if from my little humble experience and reading I were to give any advice, which I believe is useful to this country at this juncture in its history, or if I would further dare to give a little advice to the ministry, I would say that they should lose no opportunity that presents itself to promote the foreign commerce of Canada. Why, we cultivated last year in the three prairie provinces something like 10,000,000 acres, and it is estimated that there are 300,000,000 acres of splendid arable land in these same three provinces. We must in time have a huge surplus of agricultural products, and in the years that are before us, years of hope and promise t-o which we are eagerly looking forward, we can hardly realize to what vast extent agricultural produce must grow, and what an enormous surplus we -must have. Are you going to -let your wheat rot on the prairies; are you going to keep men like myself who may have a surplus of cattle to dispose of running a zoological garden in the wilderness with no market for our extra stock? Of course not; you are going to enable us to get rid of this surplus, and the only way you can do it is by the extension of Canada's foreign commerce. Holding these views, I voted with the very greatest satisfaction for the French treaty, and I heard with equal satisfaction the statement of the Minister of Finance that in the near future negotiations may be .entered into with Italy and Belgium for more extended trade relations. I d-o not know either that I differ very much from the leader of the opposition as to the small effects that are likely to come from the French treaty as things are at present between the two countries; nevertheless, I hail all these as steps-in the right direction, making for the peace of the world, making for the friendly intermingling of peoples along the lines of trade, which are the paths we must follow if ever the nations of the earth are to turn their swords into plough shares-and produces the other metamorphoses described in that text. I am not at all sure, Sir, that in this connection the commercial world will not attach greater importance to some simple words which fell from my right hon. friend the Prime Minister-not in this debate, but which have a distinct bearing upon this subject. I was exceedingly pleased to -hear the right hon. gentleman use these words:
1 have no hesitation in saying that for my part I am not satisfied with our trade relations with Germany; they are not natural or what they should be.
In that statement, Sir, if I may say so without flattery, you have the instinct of Mr. CLARK.
the highest possible statesmanship, because coming at this time such language is calculated to do more for peaceful relationship with Germany than a dozen jingo orations about the greatness of the flag and our being ready to fight. From the commercial standpoint these words show a keen knowledge of the importance of the German market for Canadian goods, and I can only hope that this expression of opinion will lead my right hon. friend to bring under the early consideration of his cabinet and of the Minister of Finance especially, the policy known as the German surtax. 1 have thought about that subject, as I have thought for many years and read for many years about the general subject of retaliation of which the German surtax is an example, and the more I think of it the more I am inclined to believe that such legislation as the German surtax is unwise. It is very easy in, such matters to appeal to the fighting instin-ct in man which is never very low down in any one of us, but what I want to know about the surtax as a Cana-adian business man is: Is it good for my country? Surely, Sir, whether I speak as a Canadian or a Britisher, I am nob going to cut off my nose to spite my face. The surtax certainly was not calculated to extend Canadian trade with Germany, and I am bound to say that in the history of this subject I have not any where found evidence that retaliation does make for increased trade between peoples. Supposing the United States put a duty on some article of ours, we are compelled, in accordance with this fighting clause to put an equal duty on a similar article of theirs. Take an agricultural implement which costs $100-before the increase in duty, I as a farmer, am buying it for $100; but when you put a retaliatory duty on it, the effect is, according .to the hon. gentleman's own doctrine, to increase the price by at least the amount of the duty, and I have to pay $120 for a $100 article. Upon whom then does this retaliation fall? Evidently on the Canadian farmer. Mr. Asquith quoted not very long ago Gladstone's way of putting the question, which cannot be easily beaten. Mr. Gladstone said: According to the old law of non-retaliation, when a man strikes you on the one cheek, you turn to him the other; but according to the new doctrine, when a man strikes vou on the one cheek, you ought to strike yourself on the other.' Some one else has said very aptly that retaliation is a weapon with a blunt point and a sharp handle, and I think that is exactly how it works out economically. My hon. friends will tell me I am theorizing once more, but there are some practical facts resulting from the German surtax that have come to my mind. I was told by a Canadian the other day, who understands the business very thoroughly, that there is a kind of ladies' cloak
produced in Germany which is the best article in that line made in the world today. The result of the surtax was that Canadians ceased to buy those cloaks.. Who benefits? Are the people engaged in making them paid any higher wages? No, they are working for the same wages. What then has been the effect on the consumer? My friend told me that the consumer had to pay a rather higher price for a slightly inferior article. But who does benefit? The one who benefits is the cloak manufacturer in Canada. The people employed do not get any higher wages and the one who loses is the Canadian consumer. The whole Canadian people suffer for the benefit of the producers of this article, and we are not hurting Germany but Canada. Let me hope that these few words on that subject will attract the attention of the Finance Minister and that he will give those talents, with which nature has so liberally endowed him, to a further examination of the German surtax before he makes another financial statement.
I have already spoken as long as I thought would be necessary and will refrain from taking up much more of the time of the House. In that speech of two hours and thirty-five minutes duration, which my hon. friend from North Toronto made, one would have thought that he would have paid some little attention to the economic aspects of the budget statement. But his speech consisted in the -unfolding of a number of things, which certainly should be looked into in eastern Canada-some criticisms of the Depart-of Public Works. I shall not make the mistake that my hon. friend from Grey (Mr. Miller) did of endorsing some of these propositions and then saying that I do not know anything about them. In regard to what my hon. friend from North Toronto said about eastern affairs, inasmuch as his attention was taken up largely by the Department of Public Works, I thiink it would be wise for a western man to slightly alter the old proverb and set a New Brunswicker to catch a New Bruns-wicker. But my hon. friend also went to the west lately, and I am bound to say that if his eastern examples of maladministration and bad policy are no better than those he was able to gather in the west, I am afraid his case is an extremely thin one. There were twro subjects to which he referred, and on which i should like to speak just a moment. He referred to what I thought would really be allowed to die a natural death as a cause of scandal, and that is the Saskatchewan Valley land deal. Now the statement which the opposition make at the outset is an inaccurate statement of fact. They say that $250,000 acres of land were sold for1 $1 an acre. That is not the case. The 250,000 60
acres were sold at $1 an acre with settlement conditions-a very different matter indeed. It would be just as accurate to say that when a homesteader comes into this country, he is sold 160 acres of land for $10; but having taken a homestead myself, I know that is not the case. I took it with settlement conditions, and after I had put the money into it, which I had to do under these conditions, it was an excellent bargain for Canada. These 250,000 acres were sold on settlement conditions. What is it we want in our western country? Is it not settlement? But the salient point is that the settlement conditions were earned out to the letter, and I am stating the facts when I' say that you have in that district, in which that deal was carried through, one of the most successful portions of western Canada to-day.
The other matter in the west to which my hon. friend referred was the paralleling of railways. I was surprised to hear him make objection to the government policy on that score. Not long ago I had a conversation with an ex-judge of the Court of St. Louis who is now ranching some thousands of acres in my constituency-a man of long experience in the United States-and he said: You will never get any railway development until you lose the fear of paralleling railways. Where the trunk lines are parallel in a measure-although the distances between them at many points are greater than one would gather from the speech of the hon. member from North Toronto (Mr. Foster), - the two roads are in competition as to which will furnish the most branch lines and so supply people which the main trunks will not touch. I give that as my opinion, and the facts evidently indicate that in the west at any rate, we do not see anything of the complaints and we do not find the objections which my hon. friend did during his recent journey. If these were all the acts of maladministration or bad policy which the hon. member for North Toronto can find in a journey over the whole of the west, he could not have offered a more magnificent testimonial to my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) for the wise policy and administration which he is carrying out.
My hon. friend from North Toronto touched on the subject of prophecy; and I am glad to see that the advice I gave him last year has borne fruit, for he said that neither he nor any one man would be justified in prophesying concerning the British elections. I will not depart from my own advice of last year, but there is this comment to be made upon the state of things which ought to influence my hon. friend, that, on the other side, his protectionist allies have now given up the preference to the colonies
as the main portion of their programme. They are going for straight and pure protection, and their declaration on the preference ought to be a startling rebuke to those who object to the tariff policy of the Laurier administration. They are saying now over there that if they do give any colonial preference they will give it as a voluntary gift to the colonies exactly as this country of Canada gave a preference as a voluntary gift to the mother country.
I indicated dissent from my hon. friend in regard to the debt of Canada. I think it is well to keep one's eye on debt, whether as an individual, a statesman or a politician; but at the same time, I think there are good grounds for believing that in this matter Canada occupies an exceptionally sound position. When you reflect upon the fact that the New Zealand debt per head, as was pointed out by my hon. friend from Queens, Prince Edward Island, (Mr. Warburton) last year, is $345, and that of Canada $45, I do not think that we are in a condition that need cause us to worry, especially considering the admirable resources which are to be developed by the money for which that debt has been incurred.
Now, my hon. friend (Mr. Foster) returned to that old topic the balance of trade. I do not want to enter into that at length; but really it does seem to me unworthy of a gentleman of his standing in the economic world to recur to that subject. After correcting for the roundabout trade between Great Britain, Canada and the United States, he arrived at a figure-which I do not wish to question-of what he called a balance against us in our trade with the United States of $55,000,000. I do not know whether all the members of the House paid the same attention that I did to a calculation which was given a night or two before the adjournment by the hon. member for Regina (Mr. W. M. Martin) which went to show that by a carelul calculation it could be arrived at that the wealth which had been brought to this country by the settlers who came in from the United States last year amounted to $59,000,000. The House must be struck with the correspondence between what my hon. friend (Mr. Foster) designates as an auverse balance of $55,000,000 and the $59,000,000 that came in as the capital of those who came from the United States to settle in Canada. As I understand this question, the capital of these immigrants from the United States comes into this country in the shape of goods, and is entered upon our list of imports. And this accounts for what my hon. friend is pleased to call an ' adverse balance of trade.' I can only say that it suggests to me a new reading of Shakespeare's line, 'Sweet are the uses of adversity.' For, after all, we are spending large sums of Mr. CLARK.
money in getting these immigrants to come and bring their capital with them. ' Adverse balance of trade! '-I wonder how any man can use that language in referring to an excess of imports over exports when all the world knows that for years and decades England has had a huge ' adverse balance of trade ' even during the time she was building up the greatest commerce in the history of the world, the greatest that will be seen for many a day to come. But I know that Canadians like facts concerning Canada. Well, let me refer to a fact in the history of Canadian trade, which I referred to in the budget debate of last year. In the year 1895, after seventeen years of the National Policy, the total trade of Canada was less by some millions than it had been in 1883, twelve years before. I would like to point out this further fact, that in that year 1895, Canada had. a correct balance of trade according to the protectionist theory. In that year, Canada was exporting more than she was importing. Will the hon. member who follows me-will any Conservative-rise in this debate and claim that Canada was more prosperous in 1895 than she is to-day? I do not notice any great alacrity to take up my challenge in that respect. The country would laugh at any such contention. I was not here, but I have read that at that time the population of Canada was stationary. I know, from the trade figures, that her trade had declined, as compared with twelve years before. Canada was doing her business on the back alley-ways of the earth as compared with to-day. And yet at that time she had what the hon. member would call a favourable balance of trade. I think hon. members in this House should not use again that phrase ' adverse balance of trade.' Why, we are prosperity itself this year as compared with what we were then, and this in spite of this adversity. Italy, to-day, is not one of the greatest commercial nations of Europe, but Italy has an excess of exports over imports. The best example that I know of a favourable balance of trade according to the protectionist theory is a bankrupt stock-it is all exports and no imports and the whole thing comes to an end at the end of six weeks.
I have only one point more to refer to, and then I shall endeavour to fulfil my promise of brevity. I was glad to hear the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) say that the rising success of Canada was due to the farmers. Well, I am not so sure that that is not quite a new-found love on his part. I have examined, so far as I could, the record of what was done for the farmer before 1896, and I am bound to say that I have failed to And much in that record. I have referred to the fact just now that my hon. friend from North Toronto was in western Canada last year. In
the city of Edmonton, he gave exposition of the boons which had been conferred upon Canada by the National Policy. They were rather peculiar reading from my point of view. He said, amongst other things, that the National Policy built up the industries of Canada by putting up the tariff, and he said at the same time that the government had encouraged the shipping of Canada by giving subsidies for the building of ships. When I reflected upon these two heads of the policy, in the first place, I could not see much that was a benefit to the farmer. But, in the second place, I could see much that would lead to the failure of the policy. Because, for the life of me, I cannot see the common sense of subsidizing ships to carry out exports-and, presumably, bring in imports-while, at the same time, you build up a tariff wall to prevent the imports from coming in. I need information, doubtless, about the condition of Canada. I shall be glad if the hon. member who follows me will tell me, and will tell my constituents, who are largely an agricultural population, many of them new to this country and honestly seeking political truth, what was actually done for the farmer during the previous Conservative regime, or-what is equally to the point-what is going to be done by the hon. member for North Toronto and his friends if they are returned to office. An hon. friend asks what has been done for the farmer by this government. That is a point I had to study; I had to ask myself that question in all honesty. I am thankful to my hon. friend for the interruption. When I came to homestead land in western Canada I had to study that point, and I have learned in the school of experience how to answer my hon. friend's question. I found when I came to western Canada the first thing I needed was a bunch of milk cows, and some means of separating the cream from the milk. I had to get a separator, and when I bought the separator I found it had been put on the free list by the Laurier government. I will answer my hon. friend's question a little further. After I got my bunch of milk cows and began to separate the cream from the milk I had to get food for the cows in winter by tilling the soil. When I came to bind the crop in the harvest season I found binder twine on the free list, placed there by the Laurier government. Then I had to use fence ware to keep my cattle in the field, and I found that that wire was also on the free list, put there by the Laurier government. Then I had to buy some agricultural implements, and under the Bill of two sessions ago I found there was a reduction of duty in agricultural implements to the very moderate extent of two and a half per cent -it would have suited me better if it had been twelve and a half per cent-but even 60i
the two and a half per cent was secured against the determined opposition and resistance of Mr. Cockshutt and other members of the Conservative party. [DOT]
Now, I will close by saying this, that I am glad to observe the tardy repentance of my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster). I took him to be a sincere man, and he admits the claim the farmers make for themselves that they are doing a great deal for the prosperity of Canada. I hope that that thought will be present all the time with the members of any administration that rules the destinies of Canada for the next ten or fifteen years. Agriculture in this country is far more than in any other country the basic industry of all others, it is the true and solid foundation of the nation's prosperity. This truth was well expressed by the grandson of Confucius four hundred years before our era, who said: ' All the industries of
a nation may be compared to a tree, of which agriculture is the bole or trunk, and the other industries are the branches.' Do not trouble yourselves about wool, the wool will come if you make your farm right. Sir, I offer my sincere, though not unqualified support to the administration which now rules Canada, because so far as I can examine the facts, they have got the right end of the stick in the matter of the development of the industries of this country. They have, at least, given more attention to the agricultural needs and wishes of this country than did the previous administration; and if a future Conservative administration is to do better upon this subject, I shall be glad to hear it from the hon. gentleman who is going to follow me.