April 30, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal


I shall not be deflected from an economic discussion by any pleasing, agreeable and humorous pleasantry of the honourable and gallant member for Victoria (Sir Sam Hughes).
The attitude of the big interests in this country in regard to free agricultural implements is not unlike the attitude - they assumed over reciprocity. Though the interests of the protected manufacturers of this country were safeguarded in the most ample manner through the care of the hon. member for Shelburne and Queens (Mr. COMMONS
Fielding) and others of the Administration of that day, the financial and industrial interests of this country thought they saw in reciprocity the entering of the thin edge of the wedge into what they regarded as their tariff privileges, and therefore they opposed reciprocity and opposed it in a most interesting manner. It can hest be illustrated by a reference to a story in Holy Writ. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that when Paul and his companion Silas were travelling around the country preaching the gospel, they came to a place called Ephesus, where there was a great temple of Diana of the Ephesians, and they were so successful in their preaching that the business of the people there who made little images of Diana fell off, and a man Demetrius called together the association of craftsmen of that city and said: This man Paul and this man Silas are hurting our business. Let us put a stop to it. Did they go out into the market place and lay complaints against these two men for hurting their business? Not for a moment. They raised the loyalty cry. They went out into the market place and for the space of two hours they cried, " Great is Diana of the Ephesians," and they raised a riot so that Paul and Silas got into trouble. That was one way to stop competition. In the same way the large interests of this country, in the summer of 1911, did not go out into the market places of Canada and say: These Liberals are going to hurt our business. They could mrt say that, because it was not true to begin with. So they raised the loyalty cry so as to hurt the Liberals who were pressing for reciprocity, a measure which, I believe, would have been of great benefit to the Canadian people, and I know that some hon. gentlemen opposite share in that view. The whirl-a-gig of time brings round its revenges. Those who supported the Conservative opposition of that day, and whose life blood was opposition to the very name of reciprocity, saw that same party when it came into office take the duty off wheat, wheat flour and semolina-the very keystone of the antireciprocity arch. The attitude- of the big interests which opposed free agricultural implements is not unlike the attitude assumed by some manufacturers in this country in the days of 1896 when certain reforms in a downward direction were effected by those in charge of the tariff affairs of that day. You will remember how that stalwart old war-horse of the Conservative party, Sir Charles Tupper, [IMr. MoMaster.]
said that the sorrowful wail of the manufacturers was heard abroad in the land, and we know that after a reduction had been made in certain duties and after the party which made those reductions was able to go on with its work, there was a great era not only of general prosperity but of manufacturing prosperity in Canada; our manufacturers never made greater strides than they did between 1896 and 1911.

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