July 26, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (North Ontario).

Australian farmer in raising sheep and cattle owing to the conditions in that country. He said:
My hon. friend is quite right in saying that the number of sheep have decreased in Canada, but when he compares that with the increase in Australia, Argentine, South Africa and other countries, he is drawing a comparison with countries in which the climate and other conditions are entirely different.
Australia, both as regards sheep and cattle, is a ranching country. The cattle there run wild over enormous areas and are not taken care of at all. Sheep are in the same position. They have illimitable expanses for pasturing, which we have not, and they have a climate more suitable for that kind of wild life than ours. Therefore, a comparison between Canada and Australia in this regard is not a fair one.
I venture to express the opinion that the Minister of Customs and the Minister of Finance when they journeyed to Washington to negotiate this treaty had not the slightest conception that the favoured nation treaty clause would be operative in connection with this agreement. The matter was finally investigated, and when the leader of the opposition extracted from the Minister of Finance the facts in regard to this feature, the sentiment of the whole country in regard to this reciprocity agreement changed. It is absolutely unfair and illogical of the ministers to negotiate a treaty of this kind which will open the home markets where the prices are high to these competing countries where the conditions are so different, and this illogical position has brought on the ministers the condemnation of the farmers all over the country. I cannot conceive that the ministers had in their minds that this favoured nation clause would be operative or they would have^ hesitated about putting into effect this illogical, unprofitable and unfair agreement.

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