Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Lennox and Addington (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 17, 1841
Deceased Date
February 2, 1918

Parliamentary Career

February 22, 1887 - February 3, 1891
  Lennox (Ontario)
February 4, 1892 - April 24, 1896
  Lennox (Ontario)
June 23, 1896 - October 9, 1900
  Lennox (Ontario)
November 7, 1900 - September 29, 1904
  Lennox (Ontario)
November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
  Lennox and Addington (Ontario)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  Lennox and Addington (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 286)

July 19, 1911

Mr. URIAH WILSON (Lennox and Addington).

Mr. Chairman. I have the honour to represent a very old agricultural county in the province of Ontario, a countywhich I believe understands this question perhaps as well as any agricultural county in this country. The electors of that county elected Sir Richard Cartwright in 1863 and he continued to support Sir John Macdonald until Sir Francis Hincks was taken into the cabinet as Financial Minister. Then Sir Richard became very independent and when Hon. Alexander Mackenzie offered him ttm position of Financial Minister in his cabinet he took the position and in 1873 was elected by a majority of 800. It will be remembered that the members of the cabinet went to the country before the general election and were returned. At the general election of 1874, he was returned by acclamation and in 1878 the gentleman whom he defeated in 1873 by 800 defeated him at the polls and Sir Richard, so far as I know, has never held a public meeting in the riding since that time. I feel that he was driven from the county because he opposed the National Policy.

I shall perhaps not again be a candidate for this House but I feel that I would not represent the feeling of Ith'e county of Lennox and Addington did I not oppose m this House what I believe will be injurious to this country. It is all very well for the government to place before the county through their speakers, as I believe they do all over the country, the 90 000 -000 market. They never tell us a word about what the 90,000,000 market will do in the way of sending in their produce to

+nr*murMet' They do not tel1 the farmers that while we will have the privilege of

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July 19, 1911

Mr. WILSON (Lennox).

Mr. Chairman, at six o'clock I was- referring to the tariff policy which the government had' placed before the country. The changes they made in the tariff were so slight that they were almost imperceptible. With reference to this reciprocity arrangement, Mr. McKay, the leader of the opposition in the Ontario legislature, saw fit to pay a visit to my riding, and addressed a meeting at the village of Tamworth, about 20 miles from Napanee. I have it on reliable authority that there were present about 250 people, 75 per cent of them Liberals, and when it 307J

was asked that those in favour of reciprocity should stand up, only 27 stood' up, and they were wise enough not to ask for a contrary vote. What I wonder at is the great effort the government is making to get rid of about 20 per cent of our farm products. It is stated on good authority that we consume -in this country 80 per cent of the products that we raise on the farm. It is also reported that England takes 10 per cent, leaving only 10 per cent to be disposed of to other countries. Under such circumstances, when we were doing so well, it does seem to me that it was unwise for the government, especially in such a hurry, to send representatives to Washington without even taking the trouble to inquire what the needs of the country were. It is said that President Taft had his experts go all over the United States and Canada to gather information, which he submitted to the Congress of the United States, and that he had this information when our representatives' met him. I understand that our government took no such pains. If they did, they have not laid the information before this House as far as I am aware. They, therefore, were not in as good a position to deal with the question as were the representatives of the United States. It is stated that very few even of the cabinet knew what arrangements had been made until the day they were presented to the House. They had a cabinet meeting just before that, and the Finance Minister came direct from that meeting to the House and made the announcement to the public. Under such circumstances is it any wonder that the leading business men of Toronto, of whom 18 or 20 were prominent Liberals, should issue a manifesto protesting against such a course as that, especially as they had the promise of the First Minister that before any changes were made in the tariff thexe would be a commission to investigate the whole tariff question? These people held a public meeting in Massey Hall in Toronto., at which all the speakers except one, I believe, were Liberals, men of high standing as business men, and men who have been life-long Liberals. I want to refer to a few remarks that were made on that occasion by Sir Mortimer Clark, a gentleman whom this government appointed lieutenant-governor of the province of Ontario, a man who has spent 50 years in this country and a man of more than ordinary intelligence. 'Not here for the party, but for the country'-that was one of his statements, and it is a motto that might well be followed by any man in public oir private life. 'A mere handful of men changing the whole policy of the country and compelling us to accept.' This is what he protested against. He did not see, and I do not think anybody sees, why two men should go to Washington and change the

whole policy of this country without any notice being given to the country or to parliament. That is a matter well worthy of the attention of the whole country. He said further: 'A United States railroad magnate told me that he approved of the agreement because it renders impossible closer relations between Canada and Great Britain.' If there is anything we should desire in the matter of trade, it is to make the very best possible -arrangements with the mother country, which ,is the -great consumer of the surplus products of the world. There is no posdbility of our selling profitably our surplus to the United States, -because they have eight or ten times as much surplus as we have, and anything we send to the United States must -be sold to speculators, who must sell it to other -people to get profit out of it, while anything they send to us only displaces so much of our own product, for which we -are obliged to find a market elsewhere. Everybody knows that the home market is very much better than a foreign market, because somebody has to -pay the mid-dJle-m-an his profit as well -as the freight and other charges on the goods that are shipped abroad. Taft -says: 'We are at the parting -of the .ways.' There are only two ways for Canada-the way to Washington and- the way to the greater empire bey-ond the .sea-s. Is it -any wonder that strong men like Sir Mortimer Clark protest against any such -statement as that? I have greater faith in my fellow-countrymen than to believe that they are at all in favour of dloser political relations with th-e United States. In fact, I think it is a mistake to have very much to do with them, because in other days, when it would have -been to our -advantage to have reciprocity with them, andi to their advantage, too, what did Blaine say? He said: ' If the Canadians want to trade with us -let -them join us; we will not give them the -benefit of our market while they stay apart from us.' That is the spirit in which they received us at all times. In 1898, when representatives of the government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier went to Washington, were they treated kindly? Were they met as they expected to be met? In the old days, when the other government was in, power, the present Minister of Agriculture said: 'If you just change the government you will h-av-e no trouble whatever in getting reciprocity with the United States.' We changed the _ government and1 we did not get reciprocity when we w-anted it, and it -seems to -me that the government themselves got so disgusted that they threw up the sponge and said: ' We do not want to have anything more to do with those people.' Sir Mortimer Clark said further: 'The United States have -always been hostile to Canada, I have been 50 years in this country, .and -have never seen -any friendly -act on ' Mr. WILSON (Lennox and Addington.)

the part of our neighbours to the south.' That is a pretty strong ,statement on the part of a leading man in this country, but it is probably true. Mr. Lash and several other gentlemen made speeches on that occasion, but I -do -not purpose to quota them -at the present time. I see that Mr. McKay is very glad to lose millionaires in this country, but I think he is very glad to- get lotjher millionaires from the United States.

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July 19, 1911

Mr. WILSON (Lennox).

Has he got one?

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July 19, 1911

Mr. WILSON (Lennox).

Well, I do not know anything about Mr. McKay, and therefore, I am not going to say anything about him, because I think a man should be very careful when talking about publi-c men n-ot to malign them in -any way.

Let me now contrast some of tne exports of Canada to the United States with some of our imports from that country. We are told by the Liberal party that the Lnited States is the great market for our products and that if we had access to that market of 90,000,000 people we would get better prices for our goods than we do at home. Let me show the absurdity of that contention by the figures taken from our trade returns. Take the article of butter, we exported to the United States:

1906 $ 36,167

1907 35,078

1908 43,015

1909 54,894

1910 201,968

Total $371,152

Or in the whole five years we exported butter to the United States-and I have taken these figures from the return of trade and commerce-$371,152. That is ail we exported to that market of 90,000,000 people.

Take the article -of cheese we exported as follows:

1906 $16,389

1907 6,918

1908 27,247

1909 28,936

1910 63,309

Total in five years $142,799

Then take the article of eggs, about which we have heard a goo-d deal of talk from hon. gentlemen opposite. We exported eggs to the United States, as follows: ,

1906 $11,924

1907 9,047

1908 9,846

1909 14,952

1910 13,896

Total in five years $59,665

Now let us see what we imported from the United States of the same articles. If we

imported a good deal more than we exported, surely that would indicate that our market is really better than theirs. Our imports of butter from the United States, were as follow.:

1906 $54,126

1907 87,997

1908 77,794

1909 156,443

1910 18,075

Total..' $394,937

That is quite a little more than we exported to them. Take the next article of /feheese. We imported cheese from the United States, as follows:

1906 $ 45,904

1907 84,084

1908 116,851

1909 55,030

1910 48,739

Total $350,608

As contrasted with $142,799 which was the amount we exported in the same period. Take the next article of eggs. We imported eggs from the United States as follows:

1906 $ 92,172

1907 142,868

1908 216,278

1909 238,842

1910 179,408

Thus our total imports of eggs in these five years was $869,568 worth, and all we exported to the United States in the same period was $59,665 worth, showing a balance of trade against us in eggs alone of $809,903. It certainly does seem to me that in that case we got decidedly the worst of the bargain.

Let us now look to our exports of cattle. Cattle, over one year old, shipped to the United States:

1906 $ 185,213

1907 471,620

1908 532,523

1909 ' 508,416

1910 619,995

Total $2,317,767

Contrast that with what we shipped to the old country-that country whose market, if this pact goes through, we will lose to quite an extent, because it looks as though the Americans would do everything they could to break up the connection that now exists between the mother country and Canada. To Britain we exported of cattle over one year old:

1906 $11,074,199

1907 10,200,137

1908 8,584,806

1909 10,115,793

1910 9,976,918

Total $49,951,852

Comparing that with our exports of $2,-

317,000 to the United States, we have a difference of over $47,000,000 in favour of the English market and against the United States market-that market which the government are now making such great efforts to get.

Our total imports from the United States in 1910 amounted $239,070,949, and our exports to $106,026,137. These figures are taken from our trade and navigation returns and they show a balance of trade against us of $152,944,412. Of these goods we allowed to come in free of duty from the United States, $79,257,600 as against $23,480,217 allowed to come in free from Great Britain. So that from what I can see our best policy is to stick to what we have and not make this leap in the dark when we are doing very well as it is. Should we go into this reciprocal arangement, we do not know what will become of us. I never yet heard that the Yankees when they wanted to make a bargain, did not do their level best to get the best of it.

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July 19, 1911

Mr. WILSON (Lennox).

Yes, but I do not believe that the country will ratify that policy.

I can say with the greatest emphasis that I believe the county I represent will, in the next parliament, be represented by another gentleman who has pronounced himself strongly against reciprocity. If he had not done so I do not think he would have received the nomination in our county.

Canada's exports of wheat for the last five years to Great Britain and to the United States were as follow:

Exports to Exports to Year. Great Britain. United States.

1906 $30,622,824 $ 298,1601907

20,710,973 630,3491908

42,911,610 102,8491909

51,350,211 602,6611910

58,538,772 1,883,637Total in 5 years. $204,125,390 $6,201,114

According to the Trade and Navigation Returns, we imported from the United States a great deal more wheat than we exported to them. The wheat imported into Canada from the United States for these five years was:

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