May 22, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)

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The AIINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend from East York (Mr. Maclean), who is not in his seat, is going to vote for this resolution, I presume, which declares that we are spending too much money ; but the greatest crime he has laid to our charge this session has been that we would not appropriate a few hundred millions more to buy up the railways of the country. My hon. friend from South Lanark (Mr. Haggart),
who is enjoying this thing so much, is going to vote' for this resolution to condemn us for extravagance; and about the most important speech, and a very good one it was, that my hon. friend made this session, was a demand that we should take up the Georgian Bay canals, with its obligation of $75,000,000. My hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk)-to come back to him-is going to vote for this resolution, condemning us for spending too much money, but his latest arraignment of the government is that we won't provide money for an expedition to search for the north pole.
I said I would follow the excellent example of the leader of the opposition in not extending my remarks to any length. We have reached a period of the session when I am sure we are all desirous of bringing the business of the House to a close. I want to say, in conclusion, that while this government has increased the public expenditure, it has simply increased the outlay in order that it might keep pace with the growing demands of the country. I say that the idea that these expenditures have been wasteful, have been extravagant, have been thoughtless, is not justified. Throughout the whole policy of the government there has been an effort, not to be too economical, not to translate the word ' economy ' to mean parsimony, or niggardliness ; but we understood economy to mean a wise expenditure of public money upon necessary works for the development of the country. We have been able to carry out that policy, we have provided liberally for every great need of the country. We are able to point to the fact that the finances of the Dominion were never in a better condition than they have been during the last few years, that the public credit of Canada never stood higher ; and that all these works have been accomplished with a reduction in the rate of taxation, which means that during the past four years, comparing the old tariff with the new, $6,000,000 have been left in the pockets of the people which would have been taken out of their pockets had the policy of hon. gentlemen opposite remained in force.
' Mr. BORDEN (Halifax). Before the hon. gentleman sits down, I would like to point out to him-and he will correct me if I am in error-that so far as grants to my own county are concerned, if the grants to the province were placed on the same basis, they would be reduced by more than 50 per cent.

Topic:   SUPPLY-BOND-BLAINE TREATY.
Subtopic:   REVIEW OF THE FINANCIAL SITUATION.
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