March 24, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)


views to the people abroad. X have here ' The Economist,' of the 13th of Ifebruray, 1892, with an article signed Richard J. Cartwright. Here are the opinions of the hon. gentleman given over his own name. The hon. gentleman was blaming the Conservative party for not bringing in immigrants. Now, this article was going to the very place whence we desire to draw immigrants, and this is what the article says :
But it is not equally well known on your side of the Atlantic that it has become painfully apparent for some time back, to every one who has been at the pains to examine the evidence which has accumulated on the subject, that, even in that comparatively short space of time, this most ill-advised policy-
This refers to the national policy

-has resulted in a tremendous exodus of the very choicest portion of the population of Canada, and in a very grave depreciation in the selling value of farm lands and of town and village property throughout all the older sections of the Dominion, including Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward.
The hon. gentleman says that there is an exodus, but he had been for years before telling the people that Canada was not a desirable country to live in, because people were ground down with taxes :
This has been accompanied, as is usual in such cases by an immense increase in the aggregate indebtedness of the Dominion in the shape of large additions to its federal, provincial and municipal debts, and also to the mortgage debts incurred by private individuals, and liabilities incurred for the construction of railroads-by lar the greater part of all which obligations are held abroad.
Briefly, in these thirteen vears, there has been a great displacement of wealth, caused mainly by artiilcial legislation but (as regards the older provinces) absolutely no increase at all of the collective wealth of the community. Two or three cities and perhaps a score of towns, have increased considerably, and a few hundred individuals (who have been privileged to tax their fellows for their private advantages) have grown rich by this system of legalized robbery; but the great mass cf the population and ^otably the agriculture class are distinctly poorer and less prosperous than they were twelve years ago.
VVe bad been inviting the English farmers to come out and settle in our country, but the hon. gentleman steps in and says : Consider the condition of the country you are asked to go to. Were they likely to come after what the hon. gentleman said ? This article was copied in the newspapers all over England, and it was copied in the newspapers of the continent of Europe, the very places where we were looking for immigrants.
Take the returns of the recent census. New Brunswick, with an area of 30,000 square miles inhabited by about 60,000 families has added just sixty-one souls to her population from 1881 to 1891.
Then he goes on to speak of Nova Scotia.
I do not wish to go over the whole argu-

ment. It is interesting, but largely in the same line. He goes on to say :
As to the amount of taxation, the agriculture class has been simply bled white.
Over and above the taxes actually paid into the Dominion treasury to be expended for so called federal purposes, they have been mulcted during all these years tinder tho protein v.; system of at least an equal amount, which is either totally wasted or goes Into the pockets of a very small number of protected manufacturers.
The exact amount evied, or, to speak more accurately* pilaged, in this way can hardly be estimated; but it is known not to be less than a sum fully equal to the entire amount credited to the treasury, and probably mu* exceeds it. In fact, the Canadian tariff (which has been, in the most literal manner dictated by the protected manufacturers) is so constructed that there ara innumerable cases in which for each single dollar paid into the treasury, three, four, five, and even ten dollars are taken out of the pockets of the consumer; nay, in many instances the tax is made absolutely prohibitive, so that the public are heavily taxed without any benefit to the revenue.
Then lie goes on to speak of the duty on sugar, and proceeds :
Taken altogether, it Is well within the mark to say that while the present nominal amount of the taxation of the Dominion is about thirty-one millions of dollars, the genuine actual taxation, i.e., the sum taken out cf the pockets of the people for the benefit of the manufacturers In addition to that paid into the treasury is certainly not le33 and is probably a good deal more than sixty millions.
That is over and above the amount actually taken for revenue purposes. Is it any wonder that we did not get immigrants or that the people left the country ? The hon. gentleman goes on :
It would be well if this were all, but, unfortunately, the economic results of the protective system adopted by Canada in 1879, grieyous as they are, fado almost into insignificance compared with the moral and political pollution it has brought in its train.
Then he says :
One thing, I think, ought to be clear to all intelligent Englishmen, and that is, that it is utterly impossible that Canada can prosper under her present condition-isolated and in danger of being still more completely isolated from the trade and commerce with the entire continent to which she belongs geographically, losing her population at the rate of one million and a half in ten years (if the official statements of the present government are to be relied upon) and subject, at the same time, to a system of taxation and of organized political corruption such as you have happily been strangers to since the days of Walpole or Charles II.
Then he goes on to say :
The Liberal party of Canada, and, indeed, the great bulk of the people of the Dominion wish well to the_mother country, and it is very far from their desire to do anything which in the long run can injure her interests, but their duty in the premises is plain.
As Canadians, they must consult the advantage of Canada first, and if it he,-as it appears
to them it is beyond all possible controversy-' for the best moral and material 'nterests of Canada to form a commercial treaty which will ensure perfect free trade with the United States, you on your side must be content to allow them to try the experiment. It is, and always has been, my own very strong desire that this measure should be so conducted that it might ultimately result in removing all possible causes of conflict between the two great divisions of the British race, and end in bringing them together in a firm and durable alliance.
That is, the Americans and us. Mr. Blake said it would bring them together in a firm manner, because if they ever succeeded in getting it, it must ultimately result not only in commercial union but in political union. He goes on to say ;
I see every reason to hope that that end may be accomplished; but, whether or no, I see still more clearly that some very radical change in the position of affairs in Canada must be brought about, and that very speedily, or else that the Canadian confederation must perish, rotten before it has had time to become even half ripe, as the result of the vice and folly with which its affairs have been administered.
This is the information he gives the people in England. Then he goes on to say ;
But in truth the question between the two Canadian parties is in reality an economic one, and in the long run resolves itself into this- shall Canada be governed for the benefit of the people of Canada, or for the profit of a few hundred protected manufacturers, backed by a subsidized press and a purchased majority in the legislature ? To talk of loyalty in1 such a connection is little short of political blasphemy, and I can only express my surprise that such a shallow subterfuge should have obtained even a momentary credence in .the mind of any Englishman of even average intelligence.
I iaav? the honour to remain,
Your obedient servant, RICHARD J. CARTWRIGHT. That Is the hon. gentleman who, as I say, for 18 years went up and down this country declaring that a protective policy was ruining it, was bleeding the farmers white, was taking $60,000,000 out of the pockets of the people for every $30,000,000 that was gathered in revenue, and that the only solution was commercial union with the people of the United States. And yet we are told that he sat on that Joint High Commission, and if the information we have is correct, when he was offered unrestricted commercial union with the people of the United States, he had not the hardihood to accept it. When we get these papers we will no doubt find that to be the case. But, as I say, the policy which he declared Canada required, and which he preached for years to the people of Canada and to the people of the mother country, that very policy, when it was offered to him, he dare not accept. Then what will the people of Canada think of his integrity, think of his intelligence, think of his consistency ? I am afraid they will not give him much credit for either. Then I take up the ' Economist,' and it comments upon that article :

The Liberal party which Sir Richard thinks is not sufficiently understood in this country, partly as the result of deliberate misrepresentation. That policy he states Ties in introducing a system of perfect continental free trade, or unrestricted reciprocity with the United States.'
The ' Economist ' goes on to say :
Such a commercial union with the States as he proposes would not ultimately be prejudicial to Great Britain. Even if it were otherwise, however, 'as Canadians they must consult the advantage of Canada first, and if it be-as it appears to them it is beyond all possible con-troversey-for the best moral and material interests of Canada' to effect such a union, we on our side must be content to let them try the experiment.
Such in brief are the commercial policy Sir Richard Cartwright advocates and the reasons' he urges for its adoption. That it is a wise policy we cannot however admit.
Now then I read that for the purpose of letting the people of Canada see why we did not get immigrants. The fact is that the Minister of Trade and Commerce and his friends, during all those years, were educating the people of Canada to believe that Canada was not a fit place to live in, and the result was that in many constituencies their electors believed them and left the country in such large numbers that when the election came around in 1891 they were defeated, defeated as I believe in consequence of the education which had been given the people by the Minister of Trade and Commerce himself when he was travelling up and down the country, as he told us the other night he had travelled from one end of Canada to the other. Is it to be wondered at that the people left the country, that we did not get immigrants from England or Ireland, or Scotland, or the continent ? Why, this letter was reproduced in different parts of the United States to show the inferior conditions prevailing in Canada, and I am told the Yankees had the photograph of the hon. minister on the top of the letter, showing that the United States was the most desirable country for immigrants to go to, and that Canada was the last place in the world for them to go to. That is the work of the hon. member for South Oxford, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who gave us his valedictory address the other night
Well, we are told by these hon. gentleman that it is impossible to do anyfhing to protect the farmer, because, they say, if the farmer has more than he can use he must send the surplus abroad, and as long as he has a surplus you cannot protect him. I heard the hon. member for Russell say the same the other night, and I heard another hon. member from the west say the same thing. I ask the attention of the House for a moment to the result of the duty that was put on pork in 1890. I looked at the quantity of pork brought into the country in 1887, 1888 and 1889. I find that during those three years before the Mr. SPROULE.
duty was put on, 72,480,606 pounds of pork and pork products were brought into Canada. After putting on a duty of 2 cents a pound on cured meats and 3 cents on fresh meats, what was the result ? During the three years subsequent, instead of 72,000,000 pounds being brought in, only 25,000,000 pounds were brought in, about one-third of what it was before. Then can you not protect the farmer ? Can you not do him some good ? Pork is one of the lines which the farmer depends on in this county, one of the lines out of which he makes his money ; and while this immense quantity of pork was being brought into this country to feed the labouring men, the lumbermen and the fishermen, the Canadian farmer was obliged to find a market for his pork in Britain and to deduct the cost of transport from the profits he would have received if he could have sold his pork at home. We find to-day that only a few thousand pounds are coming into this country instead of the millions of pounds that were coming in before. I find that in 1878, years before that duty was put on, the amount brought in was 17,717,628 pounds. Take 1895, a year or two after it was put on, and only 4,259,697 pounds was brought in. Now the conditions were much the same, and the amount of imports would doubtless have increased every year had it not been for the duty. In face of these facts will any one say that the farmers of Canada cannot be protected ? If hon. gentlemen opposite believe that, why don't they take the duty off pork to-day ? They dare not do it; yet they have the hardihood to tell the farmers that they cannot be protected, that you cannot increase the value of his product by putting on a duty, because, as long as he has a surplus to export, the home market is no better for him than a foreign market.
I said at the beginning of my speech that there was no agreement between hon. gentlemen opposite in regard to what trade policy this country should adopt. The Minister of Finance has one policy, the Minister of Trade and Commerce has another policy, the Minister of Public Works has a totally different one. One wants free trade, another protection and another a revenue tariff. The hon. gentleman who spoke last said he was in favour of a revenue tariff. What is a revenue tariff ? It was a protective tariff under the old government, but it is called a revenue tariff under the present government. Yet, the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce denounced that for years as legalized robbery. Then, if we take some of the members of the party of hon. gentlemen opposite, we find, as for instance the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Heyd), that they are in favour of protection. Each one is in favour of protecting a line of industry in which he, himself, is interested. The hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Smith) is in favour of the protection of labour, in favour of keeping out Chinamen and Japanese. He is Id

favour of protecting the labourers in so far as keeping out that servile labour that comes into competition with our own labourers is concerned, and he is in favour of protection to labour so far as keeping out the products of servile, or convict, labour is concerned. But, he will not go any further. He is only in favour of protection for the line in which he is most interested. The hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Morrison) was a member of a deputation that came to Ottawa to ask that a duty be put on lumber, yet he is not in favour of protection. He is only in favour of protection on lumber. There is no settled or definite policy with hon. gentlemen opposite. Their ministry have no agreement. We have always been told that cabinet ministers ought to be agreed upon the same thing, that there should not be any diversity of opinion amongst them, because if they disagree with each other they ought to resign. Why does not the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Tarte) resign. He is one of the most out-and-out protectionists in Canada to-day. If this policy prevails, why does not the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce resign, because his policy is the antipodes of it V They have all agreed to hang together but they have no definite policy except to hold on to office and divide the spoils. They will hold on to office as long as they can and as long as there are any spoils to divide. They say that they have a transportation policy. We have heard of that for six years. It is as indefinite to-day as ever it was. They were going to build up Montreal, going to make a fine harbour there, going to build elevators, and they were going to do wonderful things, but they are living in the future, and that policy is indefinite to-day. At that time they were going to extend the work on the Welland canal, they were going to improve Port Colborne, the Rideau ' canal, the St. Lawrence canal, they were going to improve the French river and the harbours of the Georgian bay, but they have no definite or fixed policy and there is no agreement between them as to what their policy is to be. They have no national pride. If they have they have never shown it. They have no national aspiration. If they have they have not shown it and they do not give the people any evidence of it. National aspiration and ambition have no attraction for them. There is no union amongst them. They proclaim themselves as loyal, yet, they are afraid to say that they are in favour of Great Britain. The right hon. Prime Minister, tells us that he is going home to the coronation ceremony. He told the House a few days ago that he has been invited to go to England, and while there to consider the question of Imperial defence, but. he says he does not want to do it and he refuses to do it. Yet he will go over there and tell them about his loyalty, and he will be put in the
front rank of the celebration as he was at the jubilee. He is right in the band wagon as representing the first colony in the empire, yet, he tells us that he will not go home and discuss Imperial defence.

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