Lord Ripon, speaking later, said :
A consideration of these practical difficulties and of the more immediate results above indicated, of a system of mutual tariff discrimination, has convinced Her Majesty's government that even if its consequences were confined to the limits of the empire, and even if it were not followed by changes of fiscal policy on the part of foreign' powers unfavourable to this country, its general economic results would not be beneficial to the empire.
Lord Roseberry, speaking before the Manchester Chamber of Commerce in 1897, said :
Of all the maddest things we have heard in our days, the re-enactment of the corn laws is the maddest we can possibly conceive. Free trade has preserved the empire.
I believe an imperial customs union to be an impossibility, but supposing it were possible, it would be something which would place all the nations of the world in direct antagonism' to it. It is something which, if possible, they would all continue to destroy. *
I think tlie bon. member for I'icton must have given more attention to these statements of English public men than most bon. gentlemen on liis side of tlie House, and be must realize tbat probably for years to come the people of Great Britain *will refuse to jeopardize their commerce by any such ineffective arrangement as that of a preferential tariff, at least on the basis proposed by bon. gentlemen opposite. Let me say to hon. gentlemen opposite that in theory I am an out-and-out free trader. I will go as far as to say tbat I believe it would be in the interest of Canada and in the interest of many of the other colonies, and indirectly in the interest of the mother country, if a preferential tariff could be arranged provided we had free trade within the empire. But tbat is the only arrangement upon which the mother country will grant us a preference ; and it is an arrangement which the manufacturers of this country, either wisely or unwisely, will refuse. [DOT]
Now, Sir, the hon. gentleman made another statement that I wish to refer to. In order to let himself down easily witli his own friends, he stated that it was by the policy of protection that Great Britain had laid the foundation of her mercantile greatness. He made that statement, if I remember him correctly. Again I will ask the House to bear with me while I read some literature which I think the public men of this country should make themselves acquainted with. I want to show what kind of prosperity reigned in Great Britain as a result of her protective policy, and for that purpose I will read from Spencer Wal-| pole's history of England :
There are probably few persons who have not had occasion to study the records of the time, who have any notion of the misery into which the poor had fallen. A long apprenticeship had indeed inured them to suffering; but the misery which they endured in 1S16 and 1833 was as no-
thing compared with the protracted wretchedness which commenced in 1837 and continued to 1842. In 1839, 1,137,000 persons were in receipt of relief in England and Wales alone; in 1840, the pauper roll contained 1,199,000; in 1841, 1,299,000 ; and in 1842, 1,429,000 persons. The population of England and Wales amounted at that time to about 16,000,000; so that one person out of every eleven in the country wras a pauper. . . . Dead and living were crowded
together in miserable dwellings. It is on record that in one case seventeen persons were found li\ing in a room five yards square; that in another ease eight persons, two looms and two beds were found in a cellar, six feet under ground, measuring four yards by five. An inquiry was made in 1841 into the condition of some 1,600 of the poor of Little Bolton. Out of the 1,600, twenty-three had no bed to sleep in ; eight slept in the same bed ; forty-two slept, seven in a bed, in six beds; seventy-eight slept, six in a bed, in thirteeen beds; 185 slept, five in a bed, in thirty-seven beds; and 432 slept., four in a bed, in 108 beds. In Rochdale, at the same time, five-sixths of the population had scarcely a blanket among them: eighty-five families had no blanket, and forty-six families had chaff beds with no covering at all. In Paisley, 15,000 persons were in a state of starvation, with little or no clothing, and no bedding on which to lie.
Here follows a description, all of which I will not read, in order to spare the feelings of the House :
The miserable condition of the poor was, of course, due to their poverty; and poverty was
not partial, it was catholic 'I could
tell you,' so ran a letter from' Johnstone, 'of mothers dividing a farthing herring and a halfpennyworth of potatoes among a family of seven1.' .... Girls, as well as boys, women, as well as men, worked under ground. The mines were usually ill-drained and ill-ventilated. The children had consequently often to work in the wet; they were kept at work in any atmosphere in which a candle would not burn. The smallest children were employed as trappers, or in opening the traps in the seams through which the coal laden carts passed. But women, boys, and girls were also engaged as hurriers, or in walking backwards and forwards pushing the carts themselves through the seams. Many of these seams were only twenty-two to twenty-eight inches high, so that none but small children could pass through them. In some cases the child was made to push the car ; in other cases children, and even women, were made to draw it by the girdle and chain. The girdle was a band placed round the waist of th'e hurrier. The chain passed between the drawers legs, and chafed the wretched creature's thighs, as he or she drew the load. Little children of seven worked for twelve hours a day, harnessed like beasts by the girdle and chain; hut, unlike the happier beasts of burden, subjected to the task before their growth was complete and their strength mature.
Sir, I think I have read enough to convince hon. gentlemen opposite, and any one may hear of this, that the great prosperity which is enjoyed by Great Britain was not based on protection. I now propose to read from a book called 'Ashworth, Cobden and the League.' I shall not read the solemn description of misery that prevailed throughout the length and breadth of England as it is pictured and I only ask hon. gentlemen
opposite to go to the library and take this book of Ashworth and convince themselves that protection is the basis of England's greatness. I shall read a few of the concluding sentences which I have marked :
The correctness of the views entertained by the league, may be estimated by the variety and abundance of social and national advantages which have become apparent in every direction, as the result of the removal of restrictions upon our international trade. This may be said to amount to a practical extension of the area of our country. Our farmers, no longer affrighted by the cheap farming of foreigners, have embarked their capital, drained their land, improved their agricultual machinery, and thus the produce of the home land has been largely increased ; meanwhile they have also increased the wages of their labourers ; and it may be added, that although the population of the country has increased by about 17i per cent since 1841
This book was written away back in the sixties.
-the extent cf pauperism has been diminished by upwards of 25 per cent during the same period.
The writer concludes :
Tho grand truth brought out and emphasized by free trade is, that it enables millions of people more to live in the home land, and to live with less exertion than they could do without it.; that it stimulates intellect, improves machinery, and increases the produce of the land, the foundry, the machine shop and the loom, and by exchange of products helps us to utilize the prolific stores of the tropical and semi-tropical regions of the earth, and by extending our trading intercourse, to extend also at the same time our own measure of civilization.
Here follows a long list of the growing exports and imports of Great Britain and X will sincerely ask hon. gentlemen opposite when, again, in this House, or on the hustings they make the statement that it was due to protection that Great Britain developed her commerce, to look at this book and convince themselves, as they must be convinced, that the removal of the barriers to trade which existed in Great Britain gave her people more power over life, and free raw materials upon which to exert their industry.
Mr. Speaker, the government of which I am an humble supporter, is accused of making huge and unwarranted expenditures. I simply ask hon. gentlemen opposite to point out these huge expenditures, to itemize them. Ijast year and the year previous, when they were being voted upon, they refused to do so. Now, my hon. friend from West Toronto (Mr. Clarke) made the statement the other night-and let me say that I always listen to that hon. gentleman's speeches with profound regard-that our government was doing nothing. I propose to show that our government is doing something. X wish to bring before the notice of the House a matter of great importance, and which, in view of what has occurred
in the eastern part of Canada, is deserving of far greater attention than that which has been attached to it. This government was scarcely in power before it made an arrangement with the Canadian Pacific Railway for the construction of the Crow's Nest Pass Railway. We all know that an arrangement had been made before that time for the construction of the Canadian Pacific railway, which I think hon. gentlemen opposite would be the first to admit did not adequately protect the settlers. By the arrangement which has resulted in the lowering of freight rates on outgoing and incoming materials, Manitoba and the North-west Territories gained $750,000 a year, or in the five years during which that arrangement has been in existence there has been a gain of $3,500,000, about equivalent to the government grant to the Crow's Nest Pass railway. That is something of importance, but, it is not nearly so important as the fact that in making the arrangement some 50,000 acres of coal lands, over which the government had no control previously, were taken over and held for the benefit of the people who may occupy that part of the country in the future. Furthermore, it was arranged that coal was to be put on board cars at a price not exceeding $2 a ton and carried over the Canadian Pacific Railway lines at figures to be decided on by the government. I point to that and I say that the generations of the future will point to that one act of this government as a most important act. Fuel in the Northwest Territories, as every one knows, is one of the prime requisites of life, and I point to this matter as I shall refer to it in a later part of my remarks in connection with a condition existing in the maritime provinces of which this government must take cognizance. We are making some expenditures in the endeavour to get the grain of the North-west Territories to the seaboard, and these expenditures are being made, so far ns possible, to produce a condition that will bring about competition. A railway is being constructed through the Rainy River district, from Winnipeg to Port Arthur. Large subsidies are being voted to construct a road from Winnipeg to Edmonton, and from there on to the Pacific coast. Will hon. gentlemen say that these expenditures must not be made ? These are great and important votes. They are votes that cannot be ignored because the conditions are such, as hon. gentlemen from the west have frequently pointed out, that neither this government nor any other government can afford to ignore the demands on the public treasury for the development of that country from which we will reap such great benefits in the future. Let me say, as I come from the extreme east, that I always listen with sympathy and regard to the requests made by hon. members on both sides of the House who come from the west in respect to this important matter of trans-Mr. KENDALL.
portation. It does not directly interest us, but any man who has been over that country and has seen its resources must realize, if he is at all acquainted with the conditions which prevail in the older provinces, that the situation in that vast western country is certainly the most promising one that we have in Canada to-day. The hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Tarte), of course, is one of the great sinners, and let me say, as one of the maritime province men, that I have to stand up and vote for him every time he asks for money with winch to deepen the St. Lawrence river. In future Quebec is to be the great summer port of Canada ; still, it is necessary that the depth of the channel from Quebec to Montreal shall be maintained at thirty feet. Coal from the maritime provinces is now being transported up the St. Lawrence in boats of two, three, four and five feet more draught than formerly. In 1897 or 1898, in twenty-four days, a time when the St. Lawrence was very low, twenty-three steamers went on the ground. You can understand why the hon. Minister of Public Works had to grapple with the situation. When he took office he found that the dredges were not sufficiently large for this work and he asked parliament to provide him with money. He has been provided perhaps fairly and liberally, although he claims that he has not been given sufficient. The object of his work is one that this government cannot ignore. The deepening of the St. Lawrence from Montreal to the seaboard is a matter of national importance as well as of local importance to a great many of us.
Furthermore, the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Tarte) has a project which I hope in the future to be able to support, namely, the scheme for the Ottawa and Georgian Bay canal. Of course we cannot fail to recognize that this is going to cost a great deal of money and that it will be a huge burden for the country to undertake, but it will be for us to consider whether the advantages which this canal will confer in the matter of cheaper transportation, may not outweigh the burdens which it will bring with it. I have been told that heavy freights cannot be carried on the railways at much less than one-half cent per ton per mile, and that on the other hand, heavy cargoes can be carried by water at from one-tenth of a cent to one-twentieth of a cent per ton per mile. From the standpoint of one who has the honour to represent a constituency in eastern Canada, I have also an interest in this Georgian Bay canal. I believe that if we have twenty feet draught in our canal system we will be able to send our coal through to the west, and we can get back what we need-and what perhaps we will need in the future more than we need now-several different kinds of iron ore which are to be found on the shores of the great lakes to carry on our great iron in-
dustry in Nova Scotia. For these reasons, this proposition appeals to me as an eastern man. It has its merit not only from tiie standpoint of the west, but also from the standpoint of eastern Canada. Of course, the interest which we in the east have in this scheme, will be almost inttnitesimal compared with the interest it lias for the western people. As to whether a company should construct this canal, or whether the government should construct it I have no very well defined view. I would prefer by long odds to see the government construct this canal, but if we can get a company to undertake to build it under conditions which are fair and which will maintain control over it by the government of- this country,
I sincerely hope that any further propositions along that line the government may see fit to consider carefully, and .to accede to them if they be in the public interest.
The hon. gentleman from We4t Toronto (Mr. Clarke) said that the present government was doing nothing. Let me point out briefly to him the history of this government in connection with the development of cold storage-not for fishermen which I am particularly interested in-but the development of the cold storage system for tne benefit of the farmers of Canada. 1 say that there are two men who ought never to be forgotten by the farmers of Quebec and Ontario, and these men are Mr. Geo. Eulas Foster and Mr. Sydney Fisher. The farmers will have reason to remember these two gentlemen for different reasons. I wish to point out that so early as 1882 a good cold storage systun was inaugurated between New Zealand, Australia, and London, and that system was developed up to 1893 and 1894, to a degree that placed the experiment beyond all peradventnre of failure. When representations were made to Mr. Foster that a cold storage system was needed for Canada, he seemed, at least not to appreciate the immensity of the requirement. I believe I am speaking the truth when J say that it was with difficulty that a niggardly vote of $20,000 per year could be got with which to endeavour to initiate this business. I find however that for several years only $5,000 or $0,000 was expended out of that small appropriation. As I say, cold storage was no longer an experiment. It was an established fact for Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, but Canadian public men of that day laid back, and failed to appreciate the crying needs of the country. The evidence of what I say is to be found in the votes for cold storage that this parliament was asked to pass up to the year 1S96. But what happened after that ? We put a farmer into the Department of Agriculture when the Liberal government came into power. Some 'hon. gentlemen say that he is a kid gloved farmer, but I have seen him stand up in this House to defend his department, and I think it has been sufficiently demonstrated that the present
Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher) is not only a scientific man but a practical man as well. He took office in 1896. He was not satisfied that the products of Ontario and Quebec were being dealt with to the best advantage for the farmers of these provinces. He at once asked parliament for a vote, not of $20,000 ; but the first year he was in office he asked parliament for a vote of $100,000 and every year since he got a vote of $100,000, and he expended these votes, and the result is that to-day we have a chain of cold storage extending from the Rocky Mountains into the markets of London, Manchester and Liverpool-a systm of cold storage inferior to none to be found elsewhere in the world. I would be doing an injustice, Sir, if I did not in this connection remember the services which have been rendered to this country by Prof. Robertson, who has enthusiastically directed his great technical knowledge and skill to the successful development and perfection of this system of cold storage. I repeat, that the farmers of Quebec and Ontario should never forget that the public records show that the Hon. Mr. Foster asked from parliament for three or four years the inadequate sum of $20,000 for the establishment of cold storage, and that when the present Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Sydney Fisher, came to office, he at once grappled with the question and had $100,000 a year appropriated, which has been expended every year since then with the result that the farmers of this country to-day are enjoying a prosperity that they were strangers to before.
Now, Sir, I intend to deal at some length with the affairs of the Intercolonial Railway.
At six o'clock, the House took recess.
House resumed at eight o'clock.