March 26, 1901

L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

Th$ hon. member for Victoria says that Ontario butter is forced on the market of Nova Scotia. Well, if so, they get a good article. Such a cry is a sectional one, unworthy of any member of this parliament. We are one people in Canada. Prom the Atlantic to the Pacific we form one people of Canadians, the products of one province are sold in another, and it is a very small and antiquated cry to pretend that the goods of one province are being slaughtered in the markets of another.

I want to say another word with respect to this fruit question. I do not know if the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) is in his seat, but let me tell the House that we are able to produce good fruit in Prince Edward Island. We have in that province facilities for growing good apples, pears and small fruits of all kinds. Some years ago an association was formed, composed of men holding different views on politics, called the Fruit Growers' Association of Prince Edward Island. This association was formed particularly to promote the apple industry, and those gentlemen were enabled to send to the markets of Great Britain apples that not only commanded the highest price, but were recommended by the English fruit dealers as very choice fruit. It was supposed that this government, in which the Island is represented by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Sir Louis Davies), would do something for the promotion of that great industry in that province. It was asked to send down there some one who thoroughly understood

the industry of horticulture, and who would instruct the people in pruning and grafting. It did send a man, concerning whom I asked a question the oilier day. I asked the Minister of Agriculture :

1. Who recommended a Mr. Kinsman as a scientific horticulturist to work in Prince Edward Island during the summer of 1899?

2. What amount did his mission cost?

3. Was the minister satisfied with the result of his work?

The Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher) replied :

1. Mr. Kinsman was recommended by gentlemen whose acquaintance with him .was sufficient to justify their recommendation and in whose judgment I have confidence.

2. His work cost $563.43 for expenses and $304 for salary.

3. The report which he gave of his work was

satisfactory.

You will notice, Sir, that the expenses are very large in proportion to the salary, and you will notice also that this was a very evasive reply. The minister did not say that he was pleased with the work done by Mr. Kinsman, but that Mr. Kinsman's report was satisfactory. Evidently any report Mr. Kinsman might write out would be satisfactory to the hon. gentleman. But in the annual report of the Fruit Growers' Association of Prince Edward Island for 1899, what do we find ? This Mr. Kinsman, who was a camp follower of the Minister of Militia and Defence (Hon. Mr. Borden), for whom that hon. minister wanted to get a job at the expense of the people, was sent by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries to his friend the leader of the government in Prince Edward Island ; instead of sending him to the president and the directors of the Fruit Growers' Association, the hon. minister sent him down to Mr. Farquhar-1 son, the leader of the government, intend! ing thereby to advance not only his own political interests but those of Mr. Far-quharson. Well, what did the Fruit Growers' Association say. They said :

Mr. Kinsman went over the stations several times, without eliciting any interest anywhere. And this was not remarkable; for, on his own admission, he knew little or nothing about grafting and very little about pruning. As might he expected, no enthusiasm at all was aroused in the work, the most important needs, those of pruning and grafting, being entirely abandoned; and the mission which should have benefited the province so considerably, was thus quickly turned into absolute failure by political contact.

I want the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries to mark this :

Representing all shades of politics in private life we deprecate as strongly as words can express the mixing up of politics with horticulture in even the remotest degree. As an association the F. CJ. A. knows no party, its aims being wholly and solely to advance the interests of horticulture for this whole province, without regard to any outside concern.

The failure of Mr. Kinsman's mission can therefore in no wise be put upon this association. The F. G. A. could, without doubt, had it been permitted, have turned it to some good account for horticulture, and thus have saved the large amount of money thrown away-money so very much needed for the fostering of horticultural interests in the province.

We feel, however, that at least one>

good end has been served by this complete failure;-politics and politicians can make no capital out of an invasion of the proper rights of agricultural associations.

A large amount of money was thus thrown away which might well have been spent to some good purpose. We can grow fruit in Prince Edward Island just as well as they can in the far-famed Annapolis Valley. All our people require is some instruction with regard to grafting and pruning, but instead of sending a competent man, tbe government send down a camp follower of tbe Minister of Militia to assist in promoting tbe political interests of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and those of his friend Mr. Farquharson.

I desire to turn for a moment to the budget speech made a few days ago. Tbe bon. the Minister of Finance found bis lines cast in very pleasant places, and as he was reading over the yearly surpluses, I could see the Minister of Trade and Commerce turning green with envy. For that hon. gentleman could not but remember that when he was Finance Minister he had no surplus to boast of, although be had increased tbe taxes, and was obliged to tell tbe people that be saw no means of increasing the revenue except by direct taxation. The prosperous condition of the country can, however, be easily accounted for. It is due no doubt to the fact that this government have retained tbe national policy. But the hon. gentleman made-I do not know whether wittingly or not-this statement:

When I remind this House that the increase in the whole eighteen years of the national policy was only $66,000,000, and when I show that in one year only of the present administration the increase was over $59,000,000, and' nearly $60,000,000, hon. gentlemen will be able to measure the vast progress that has been made in tbe trade of the country.

That is an unfair comparison. As my bon. friend from South Ontario (Mr. Ross) said the other evening, we have cycles of depression and cycles of prosperity. If hon. gentlemen opposite had looked up the public accounts during the last fifteen years, they would have seen that there have been as great increases in the trade of the country as during the last few years. I find that the total trade of the country in 1873 amounted to $217,104,516. In 1870, it had declined, under the administration of hon. gentlemen opposite, the Finance Minister of that administration being at present hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright), from $217,000,000 to $151,000,-Mr. HACKETT.

000. Would hon. gentlemen opposite say that the Minister of Trade and Commerce was responsible for that, because he was Finance Minister at the time ? Then it was that the people of the country, feeling that something should be done to restore confidence and to place the business of the country on a sound footing decided, in 1878, to inaugurate the national policy as proposed by Sir John A. Macdonald. Under the national policy, we find that from 1879 to 1882, the trade of the country increased to $224,000,000, an increase of over $70,000,000 during those years. Hon. gentlemen opposite may say that this was owing to the great prosperity of the country, but it was owing also to the national policy stimulating tlie interests of the country, restoring confidence and re-establishing in the minds of our people the belief that we could build up a great nation on this northern half of the North American continent. After that, we had a period of depression. From 1882 to 1S86, trade fell from $221,000,000 to $189,000,000. About 1893, we had a period of prosperity, and our trade rose to $241,000,000. All this shows that we have these cycles, these periods of prosperity and periods of depression. The hon. gentleman who says that under this government the trade increased by $60,00Q,000 owing to.the action of this government is speaking in a manner which is far from justifiable for one addressing an intelligent body of gentlemen such as we have in this House. Why do we have this prosperity ? We have here a great heritage won by the energy of our fathers, and, through the statesmanship of Sir John A. Macdonald, assisted by able lieutenants, means have been afforded for tlie development of our resources. These men built the Canadian Pacific Railway, they built the Intercolonial Railway, they built the Sault Ste. Marie canal, they improved the St. Lawrence canals, and thus and in other ways afforded the people of this great country means to transact their business and enabled us to stand on a par with our neighbours to the south of us. And hon. gentlemen opposite, coming into power, found these great public works completed and all this accommodation provided; and now they find it an easy thing to claim credit for the prosperity which has come to us. I challenge any hon. gentleman on the. other side to show where they ever obtained a market for the people for the sale of a pound of bacon, a pound of butter, or a bushel of wheat, oats or peas. The prosperity of the country is not due to the government but is due to the policy and administration of their predecessors, coupled with the energy and industry of the Canadian people.

Turning from that for a moment, we find that this government, like some other people, use prosperity as an excuse for extravagance. Last year this government collected $51,029,994 of revenue, against

2065 MARCH 26,1901 2066

$36,618,590 in 1S96, an increase of $14,411,404. And they boast a surplus of $8,000,000. Having this great amount of money at their disposal, what are they doing to reduce the burdens of the people ? The hon. member from King's (Mr. Hughes) last night echoed the Finance Minister, who said that they had reduced the taxes of the people by $2,000,000. The Minister of Finance philosophizing on that subject, but speaking without facts and figures, said that if you apply the old tariff to the present imports, the people would have paid $2,000,000 more than they did. But there are no facts to substantiate this statement, nor is there any fair comparison. But we find, looking at the blue-book compiled under the supervision of the Minister of Customs (Hon. Mr. Paterson)-that is where you find the plain statement of the taxes per head paid by the people. According to that table, we find it plainly stated that the amount of customs duties per head of population in 1896 was $3.94, while the amount collected in 1900 was $5.37-an increase of $1.43. Assuming that each family contains live people-and that is only a moderate family in this country-you will find that the taxes of the average family has increased between $7 and $8 under the. present government. No hon. gentleman can deny it, for there are the figures plainly set forth in the book compiled by themselves. They boast of their surplus, but that surplus they have taken from the pockets of the people. They are taking money from the man who toils from morning till night for his family, in order that they may spend it in extravagance. My hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) will remember that, in the province of Prince Edward Island before this government came into power he used to talk to the people a great deal about the taxes on cottons and to declare that we were building uj>

monopolies and enriching great cotton lords, and that out of the pockets of the people of that province came much of the money for these wealthy men. But when the hon. gentleman came into power did he reduce the taxation ? I find that the duties paid last year on cotton goods amounted to $1,665,293.38. The people whom the hon. gentleman represents, mostly farmers and fishermen, had to pay a large proportion of those duties. There are no manufacturers of those goods they have to be imported from Great Britain and the United States, or from the older provinces of Canada where those manufactures are established. But, the hon. gentleman has done nothing to relieve the people of that tax. He has increased the tax on brown cotton used mostly by workingmen from 30 per cent to 35 per cent; he has increased the tax on printed cotton from 30 per cent to 35 per cent; he has increased the tax on other grades of those goods by 24 per cent. He has done this for the purpose, as the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) said, of keeping alive the cotton mills of Valleyfield, to protect them to such an extent that they will not have to shut up. Hon. gentlemen opposite speak of a revenue tariff. Where does a revenue tariff come in in respect of these goods ? Have they any desire, as they pretend, to reduce the taxes ? We remember that when Sir Leonard Tilley and the Hon. Geo. E. Foster had surpluses, as these gentlemen now boast of, they commenced to reduce the taxes of the people; they did not take from them millions of money that were not required for carrying on the public service. We were told in those days that a surplus was a very bad thing, that it was wrong, that it showed inefficiency, incompetence, inability on the part of the Finance Minister when he took from the people more money than was required to carry on the affairs of the country. Yet the hon. gentleman boasts of a surplus of $8,000,000. Not one thing has been done to reduce the taxation of the people in connection with cotton goods. I do not know whether my hon. friend the junior member for Halifax (Mr. Roche) is in his seat or not, I believe he is. He spoke to us the other evening about what a great thing it was to have a preferential tariff in favour of silks coming into this country. I presume that hon. gentleman is not a benedict, I take it for granted that he is a married man, because he says there is no greater present you can take home to your wife than a silk dress; therefore, you should be able to buy it cheaply. The hon. gentleman is a man of wealth, I believe he is possessed of considerable means, and there is no doubt that his wife is the possessor of many fine silk dresses. While I approve of his sentiment, while it is quite right for him to buy a silk dress for his wife if he can afford it, what will the poor workingman do who has to pay an increased tax of 5 per cent on the printed cotton that is required to clothe his wife and daughters 1 Sir, the hon. gentleman may be right, let him buy silk dresses for his wife; but let me remind him that the labouring man, the farmer, when he wants to buy a piece of cotton to make a dress for his wife, has to pay an increased tax of 5 per cent; and if he wants to buy a piece of shirting for his sons he is unable to do so without paying this increased tax; and very 'often these men have all or more than they can do to provide their families with food and fuel. Then the hon. gentleman went on to talk about coal oil. When hon. gentlemen opposite were on this side of the House they dwelt at great length on the enormity of the tax on coal oil. They said : Coal oil is used by the workingmen, and you have taxed it 5 cents a gallon for purely protective purposes. Put us in power and we will repeal that tax. Now, Mr. Speaker,

what have they done ? The hou. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright), speaking on this subject the other evening, said that the duty on coal oil in 1896 was 7 cents a gallon, and they reduced it to 5 cents. Now that hon. gentleman, with his means of information, ought to have known that he was making a mistake; it was 6 cents a gallon instead of 7 cents. This reminds me of a story that I heard told about two men who went out shooting. When they came back they were giving an account of their afternoon's sport, and one man said he had shot ninety-nine snipe. The other man said : ' Why didn't you say one hundred and make it an even number ? ' ' Why,' replied the other, ' 1

did not want to tell a lie for one snipe.' But the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce is not so conscientious. He was willing to do the trick for one cent. He said the duty iu 1S96 was 7 cents a gallon, when the fact is that it was only 6 cents a gallon. The present government reduced that duty 1 cent a gallon, and iu doing so, they allowed privileges to the Standard Oil Company, that octopus that is not only bleeding the people of Canada, but has its fangs in the throat of the people of the United States, and is sucking their blood. The government allowed that company the privilege of bringing their oil into this country in tank ships, and as a consequence the Canadian industry became of no importance, and it passed into the hands of Rockefeller and his associates. Whether the duty is 5 cents a gallon or 10 cents, the government have put the Canadian people into the clutches of that monopoly, and the Rockefellers are taking out of this country, through the connivance of the present government, over $2,000,000 a year of the hard earned money of our people.

Now, I want to turn to another question, one that seriously affects the people of Canada. What I am about to say I shall say in all sincerity, because I represent a people who are not a manufacturing people, who have to depend on their farms and on the products of the waters for their living. Those people are great consumers of tobacco. We know that when the workingman comes home at night there is nothing gives him so much pleasure .as to take down his pipe and sit with his family at the fireside and have a smoke. But what have these gentlemen done ? I find that the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) put this question to the government :

1. What was the total amount of duty collected on tobacco for the year ended June 30, 1900?

2. How much of this amount was due to the additional duty imposed In the session of 1897?

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

Here we have this government, who are posing as friends of the poor man, and who are taxing that poor man's pipe to the extent of a million dollars a year. They may boast of their surplus, but we have here the undoubted testimony of their Minister of Inland Revenue (Hon. Mr. Bernier) that last year the consumers of tobacco in Canada paid $1,000,000 extra on account of the tax imposed by these gentlemen. But why have they done it ? Have they done it for the purposes of revenue ? They pretend to be free traders, and yet I believe that they imposed this tax for the purposes of protection. It was not done for revenue. These gentlemen have got to get back into their boots, they have got to show that this taxation imposed on the country is either for a revenue or for protective purposes; and I am willing to stake my reputation here on the statement that this $1,000,000 is taken out of the consumers of tobacco in this country to protect the tobacco growers in the province of Quebec and up in the Ontario peninsula; and these hon. gentlemen cannot deny it.

Another question I want to refer to, and I wish the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) were here to hear me. But it seems the air was getting too hot for him, and he had to leave the Chamber. My hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries used to dwell on the iniquitous tax on flour. Down in the province of Prince Edward Island we do not produce sufficient flour for our population, we have to import. The hon. gentleman (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) used to tell the people : When we come to power you are going to be relieved of this tax on flour, it is a duty that is going into, the pockets of the farmers of Ontario and of the North-west. Now, what do we find in regard to flour ? Last year the amount of duty paid on flour was $145,-70i .18. Now that the hon. gentleman is on the Treasury benches, he is quite satisfied that the consumers in the maritime provinces should pay this duty on flour. But, there was another article, including breadstuff's, with which hon. gentlemen opposite used to find great fault in connection with the late tariff and that was the article of rice. We collected in duties, last, year, on rice $180,000,1 regret that the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) is not here because I want to refer to an extract from a speech he delivered in this House in connection with this very article of rices. He said :

Rice is one of a class of articles which should be first removed from the.taxable list. Further, this is an article not raised in the country, the duty is not required for protection purposes! and therefore the tax is highly indefensible.

It was an indefensible tax in 1890. but the hon. gentleman sits there and defends it in 1900, because he is drawing his salary as Minister of Marine and Fisheries.

Now, having said so much in connection with this matter, I will turn to the question of the debt. The debt of Canada is a very important question. The hon. member for West Elgin (Mr. Robinson), who represents, as he says, the largest body of farmers in Canada, will remember that any increase in the debt of the country will have to be paid by the farmers of the country, because they are the people who have their homes here, who are not birds of passage, but who intend to remain here. The hon. gentleman will agree with me in that respect. It is their contributions that must go to decrease the public debt. The hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Richardson) also referred to that. We find fault with the hon. Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) because, in bringing down to this House a statement he did not state the facts fairly, justly and honestly. We find that he said here that the total increase in four years was $6,996,373, that the average increase per year for four years was $1,749,993, and that the average increase for eighteen years, under the Conservatives, was $6,563,075. That is not a fair comparison to make. You cannot take the last four years and compare them with the preceding eighteen years and make a fair comparison. During these eighteen years hon. gentlemen will remember that the Conservative party took up the great public works of Canada, and that they had to go to the markets of the world and borrow money to pay for these great public works. What have hon. gentlemen opposite done ? The flow's Nest Railway and the Drummond County line are all that they have added to the assets of the country, while they have for these services increased the debt nearly $2,000,000 a year during their term of office. A fair way of putting the case would be to take the increase in the public debt of the last four years of Conservative rule and compare it with the four years of Liberal rule. When I do that I find that during the last four years of Conservative rule the public debt was increased between $3,500,000 and $3,750,000. It should be remembered that during this time Mr. Foster had no surpluses. It was a period of depression, one of those cycles of hard times to which the hon. gentleman has referred. During that period he had no surpluses to apply to the redemption of the debt, but we find that he so economically managed the affairs of the country that he was enabled to show that the public debt had increased only about $3,500,000 a year. On the other hand these hon. gentlemen opposite, with their large surpluses, and having no large public works to construct, have increased the public debt by nearly $2,000,000 a year. That is the comparison, and it is unworthy of the hon. Minister of Finance to compare the four years of his administration with the eighteen years of the late administration.

I want to say a word about the expenditure. We find, as I said at the outset, that when you have money at your disposal coming in easily you are likely to have extravagance. Now is the time for the hon. Minister of Finance to husband the resources of the country to save the taxes of the people, because, as he says, we are on the crest of the wave, for the future we will go downward, and he should have something put by for a rainy day and to meet emergencies. He is not doing that. We find that under his management he has allowed the expenditure of the country, in four years, to increase by $6,000,000. This is reckless extravagance. If he had conducted the affairs of the country in an economical way and husbanded the taxes of the people, he would be able to make a better showing than he is doing to-day. He has added to the public debt, he has increased the public expenditure, and no one could make a worse showing before the people than that of the present administration. We were asked : Where has the money gone ? Why do you not vote against it ? What is the use of hon. gentlemen oh this side of the House opposing votes brought down by hon. gentlemen opposite ? They will carry them through with their majority, large as it is. What do we find in the Department of Justice ? I will again appeal to the hon. member for West Elgin, because, if there was any one plank in the platform of the body that he represents that was emphasized, it was against the increase of judicial expenditure in this country. They believe that they have been taxed too heavily for the maintenance of judges and high-salaried officials. We find that during the last four years this government have increased the expenditure on the judiciary nearly $100,000 a year. Why was that done ? It was done to find places for hon. gentlemen who occupied seats in this House, and who, like rats deserting a sinking ship, got away before the storm came on. These men have been provided with soft seats, and it has cost the people of the country $100,000 more than in 1896. Then, we find an increase in the controllable expenditure in connection with immigration. We find that the expenditure has increased from 1896 to 1900, four years, by $314,363.61. Here is an increase beyond all proportion, an increase that cannot be approved by the people of Canada. These hon. gentlemen may say : We have brought in immigrants, we have sent our agents to the confines of civilization, and a certain Mr. Preston, that I read about a day or two ago said that he had gone to some unknown people and was going to bring them to Canada. We have had enough of these people brought to Canada. The hon. member for Lisgar, who is fresh from that country, and knows the conditions there, rebuked the hon. Minister - of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) for bringing in this class

race and religion. To-day you are filling the same place with dignity and honour, and why should these gentlemen at this time raise this question of race and creed ? I will tell you why ; because the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) in his paper, La Patrie, is fomenting it and stirring it up. What did we find in the province of Prince Edward Island ? We found one of his satellites going among the intelligent French voters of my district, stirring them up, and saying to them : You must vote for Laurier and Tarte because they are Frenchmen. This man remained there more than two months, going around and holding meetings in out-of-the-way places, and circulating his stories amongst the intelligent Frenchmen of West Prince ; but I am glad to say that they were too honest and intelligent to be seduced by him. Although they were Frenchmen, and proud of their compatriot, the leader of the government, and proud of the stand the French Canadians were taking In the province of Quebec, yet they stood true to their political principles. As I said, this emissary remained there from July to November, and when a ballot box containing a majority of votes for me at a certain polling district was stolen from a train and never turned up at Summerslde, tills man was on the train. I do not believe we have a man in Prince Edward Island base enough to steal that ballot box. I attribute it to the work of this man who was sent down by the Minister of Public Works.

Sir, I have occupied more time than I intended at the outset

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Go on.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

I am flattered. My hon. friend from West Elgin (Mr. Robinson), the premier and myself are the only members who have been asked to go on. We in Canada own a noble heritage left to us by our fathers. Whether we are of French, English, Scotch, Irish or German origin, let us unite and work shoulder to shoulder to develop our country and maintain it, what it is at present, the brightest jewel in the crown of the empire.

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LIB

Richard Reid Dobell (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. R. R. DOBELL (Quebec West).

Mr. Speaker, I need hardly say that it is not with any very great desire that I rise to prolong this debate, nor is it that I expect, as my hon. colleague, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) said, to have the last word. But I am very pleased to have the opportunity of expressing to this House what I believe to be the universal feeling with regard to the speech made by my hon. colleague the Minister of Finance. I believe it will be hailed throughout the country with the greatest satisfaction. For myself, I regard that speech as unique. As I think the hon. leader of the opposition said, it had the characteristic of being short, and I wish all the members on both sides of the House Mr. HACKETT.

had tried to follow my hon. friend's example in that respect. I shall do my best, however I fail in other respects, to earn the thanks of the House for making a short speech ; also do my best to lay a few facts before the House. W.e have all listened with great patience to the various statistics that have been given us during the last two or three days, and for my part I do not intend to add one figure to those given. I do not believe in this metnod of piling up figures and then using them to arrive at wrong conclusions, nor do I believe in compiling vast quantities of words and delivering them without wisdom. I think, on the contrary, that when one rises to speak in this House he should weigh very carefully what he has to say.

The speech delivered by my colleague the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding), I look upon as exceedingly exhilarating. Its keynote might be epitomized under these three headings : That never was Canada so prosperous ; that never were her people so contented ; and that never was her future so promising. With that speech I would be content to face the country, confident that it would be endorsed by the vast majority of the people.

My hon. friend, the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden), claimed that while the Minister of Finance was warning us that we had reached the full springtide of prosperity, he used the simile of a skater who continued at a rapid pace while the ice was marked dangerous. The Finance Minister, he said, admitted he was skating on very thin ice and yet kept on at full speed. But the hon. gentleman forgot that our Finance Minister was careful to look ahead and had provided for another twelve months with a surplus of $6,000,000. I do not think that many of us would desire that provision should be made for a longer period than twelve months, nor would it be wise to prognosticate what might happen in years to come. If the hon. minister gave reasons- and in my opinion he gave sound reasons- for calculating on another surplus during the next year, it seems to me it would be unreasonable to expect any prediction further.

The first criticism on the budget speech from the opposition side came from the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osier). The remarks that hon. gentleman made at the outset, namely :

I must congratulate the Finance Minister and the government, as I congratulate the country, upon the statement of prosperity which the hon. gentleman has been enabled to show to Canada-a prosperity which we one and ail delight

Is one we can all cordially endorse, and if some one had then whispered to the hon. gentleman : ' Least said soonest mended ; go no further,' and the hon. gentleman had followed the old maxim and stopped there, he would have given a lead to that side of

the House which would have been very-creditable to him. But he did not stop there. He went on further to remark that we were only trustees for the development of this country, in which remark I entirely agree. And what a country, what a heritage of boundless wealth, Mr. Speaker, we have in our trust. We admit, Mr. Speaker, that we are only trustees, having full responsibility for the development of an estate with its boundless possibilities of future wealth, which really is beyond the dream of avarice.

But, my hon. friend unfortunately just then ran off the track and came to grief, and I am sure his remarks will disappoint his friends, north, south, east and west. He claimed that the time had come when it is no longer necessary to bonus railways.

Well, I ask, is there an hon. gentleman in this House who can support that contention. The hon. gentleman tried to support his view by drawing a comparison between this country and the states of New York, Minnesota and Illinois. But is the comparison at all a fair one ? I And that the population of those three states amounts to 14,000,000, covering an area of 198,000 square miles. Surely there can be no comparison between these three thickly inhabited states, the greater part of which is under close cultivation, and such a country as Canada, the population of which is about five and a half millions, and the area 3,318,000 square miles. In the three states mentioned by the hon. gentleman there are seventy inhabitants to every mile, whereas in Canada there is but 1*6 to every mile.

I think it would have been wise if the hon. gentleman had gone a little more into detail before making such a sweeping statement. I would like to ask him why he did not particularize some other of our extravagances. I would like to know whether he would take exception to the bonusing of the Crow's Nest Pass Railway, which, I believe, has repaid this country fifty-fold by the opening up of coal lands and the development of the Kootenay country. I would like to know whether he thinks we are wrong in carrying out the pledges which were made by the Conservative government many years ago and repeated every time when they were asking for the support of the people of Canada. For instance, would he repudiate the pledge by the late government to build the Quebec bridge ? Would he also condemn the opening up of the Rainy River district, and what is known as New Ontario, and which is likely to repay us for pur expenditure a hundred-fold. It would be interesting also to learn whether the hon. gentleman approves of the loss of revenue we sustained by reducing the rate of postage to one-penny. Also whether he approves of the deepening of the St. Lawrence canals. Would he also begrudge the contribution required for the Pacific cable and for sending the contingents to South Africa. These are the chief items which have swelled the expenditure during the past twelve months.

Then take the iron industry, which is looming up, and which will possibly grow to be the largest iron and steel enterprise in the world. Evidently already hon. gentlemen opposite are greatly exercised over the extent to which the bounty given this industry may draw upon the resources of Canada. But the larger the call may be the greater will be tlie prosperity of that industry. Once established, that industry will be permanent, and who can tell what the result will be. The fact that the calls will be heavy the next two or three years will ensure the success of #he enterprise. If they do not go to work and produce a large quantity, we will have a very small bonus to pay, but on the other hand, we will not have so flourishing an industry as we anticipated.

It would be like the other industry at Londonderry-it would survive for a few years, as long as it was drinking the pap, and would then die. But we hope for different results in this case. The expenditure that is being made there will ensure for us the future development of that iron industry ; and it does not much matter what it costs for a year or two, for our Minister of Finance has wisely provided that the bonusing should gradualy die out. I believe that that industry will be firmly established and will remain, and not only that, but that it will lead to ship-building and bridge-building, and will give us the iron for our railways and all the girders and other parts for structural work. All these works I have referred to are completed or are being completed, the future will lead to new calls upon us. Shall we shirk those new calls ? Shall we, as trustees, put the property that is entrusted to us in a napkin and bury it in the ground in order that we may have it for future generations ? No, I speak my own mind when I say that the only complaint that I feel can be justly made against us, is that we have not done nearly enough, that there are calls upon us throughout the length and breadth of this land to which we have not replied as promptly as we should have done. I believe that the navigation from Belle Isle to Montreal ought to have a great deal spent upon it, and I believe it should be so placed that no one could point a finger and say : This ought to be done, or that ought to be done. It would be money well expended. It would net us a very high return before long. Don't you think we have been supine in not opening that immense inland lake, Hudson Bay, with its 4,000 miles of coast line, with its inlets, like Chesterfield Inlet running into it, and also such harbours as the mouth of the Churchill river, which would give us easy access to the extreme North-west ? Another complaint, that if I were in opposition, I would make against the

[DOT]2080

government is because of tbe little effort we have made to win the trade from South Africa and Australia. I maintain that it is the duty of the government, as trustees, to open up every avenue of trade that we can and make us independent of other countries. That is the very first principle of free trade. What protection does for us is to give us pampered industries, industries that cannot live by themselves, industries that will want a fresh bonus or fresh protection every year-you never quite reach the point where they have enough. But, if our manufacturers are treated like men, they soon learn that they must look around them and find fresh markets for their products ; and they will be able to do jt if they only try. 1 remember that some years ago the locomotive builders of England were crying out for some kind of protection. But the government did not listen to them. I was surprised to hear the bon. member for West York (Mr. Wallace) say that he found in England a great desire to introduce protection. I have not seen it in any single paper of any reliability. I find, on the contrary, that a certain member of parliament did bring up something of that kind, but he did not secure a following. The close of the hon. gentleman's speech redeemed the middle portion and he finished with this proposition. That it would be desirable to see if Quebec would not give far greater advantages to the country at much less cost than the very expensive work of deepening the river from Quebec to Montreal ; and this should be taken up and fully considered before any more expensive work is done. If Montreal is considered the best place to make a national port why we, must all cordially join in carrying it out ; but I do not think the enterprise should be gone on with, without due consideration whether Quebec should be the best port for transporting the produce not only of our own Northwest, but for the produce of the larger T>ortion of the grain and corn producing states of the American union. Now, I would like to say a word or two about the amendment which has been presented to this House by the leader of the opposition. I would like to read it, and, with permission, I will read the second clause first: That, in the opinion of this House, the adoption of a policy of mutual trade preference within the empire would prove of great benefit to the mother country and to the colonies, and would greatly promote the prosperity, unity and progress of the empire as a whole, and that the present time, when the Commonwealth of Australia is laying the foundation of its fiscal system, is particularly opportune for taking prompt and energetic steps towards the furtherance of this object.

I would follow that anywhere, and I am sure that any hon. member would do the same. But let me read to you what this is preceded by. These two clauses remind me very much of the action of a twin-screw steamer under certain circumstances.

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LIB

Richard Reid Dobell (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. DOBELL.

If the captain wishes to turn the steamer, he orders one screw full speed ahead and the other screw full speed astern. What I have read you was the full speed ahead. I am sure that there is not a member of this government or this parliament who would not support that loyally and do everything possible to carry it out. But, here comes the full speed astern :

That, in the opinion of this House, the welfare of this country requires a pronounced policy of adequate protection and encouragement at all times to the labour, agricultural, manufacturing, mining and other industrial linterests of Canada.

Now, I contend that that is the very way to destroy the energy and enterprise of this country. As I have said, with one screw full speed ahead, and one full speed astern, the steamer turns around and makes no progress, and that is exactly what would come to this country if we listened to that resolution. And that is quite reason enough for us to oppose it to the utmost of our power.

Now, reference has been made by several members of the House to what our premier said in England almost directly he arrived. If ever 1 listened to words almost prophetic and inspiring they are those words of our premier. I will read them because they are well worthy of being repeated. He said :

I claim for the present government of Canada that they have passed a resolution by which the products of Great Britain are admitted in the rate of their tariff at 12J per cent, and next year at 25 per cent reduction. This we have done, not asking any compensation. There is a class of our fellow-citizens who ask that all such concessions should be made for a quid pro quo. The Canadian government has ignored such sentiments. We have done it because we owe a debt of gratitude to Great Britain. We have done it because it is no intention of ours to disturb in any way the system of free trade which has done so much for England.

Now that, I think, should be the aim and object of every member of this House. I heard one of my hon. friends on this side tell what England had done for Canada, and he told of some of the very important advantages which England had given to us and we now enjoy-the advantages of her power of defence, the advantage of her consular service, the advantage of the mother country as a great market for our products. But these are all minor things to the great benefit we have derived from Great Britain. Is there any example in history of any country doing what Great Britain did for Canada, and since then has done for others of her dependencies ? A few years ago, she gave to the people of Western Australia-and I believe that at that time they numbered something less than 250,000 souls-that whole territory of Western Australia, and the means of establishing a government in it, without exacting one shilling for the transfer of the property. Recently, as we all know, Western Australia, Victoria, New

South Wales and Queensland have, been welded together in one great commonwealth.

For Canada, she gave us her counsel and her help to form a Dominion which would rival the mother country in the freedom of her constitution and in independence. And what did she exact from us in return ? She has not exacted from us one iota in return for all the mineral wealth of this country, for all the forests, for all the public works which had been built at her expense. She did not charge us even the cost of the parchment by which she transferred this great territory to us ; she handed it over to us with her blessing and the prayer that we would become prosperous and strong. Search through the history of 2,000 years and you will not find anything to compare with that. And yet we hear some hon. gentlemen talking of the duty of England to give us a quid pro quo amounting to a few thousand pounds, probably, a year, or we will say a few thousands of pounds. But nothing in the world that Canada can give to Great Britain would recompense in the slightest degree the debt that we owe her for the freedom and blessings which she has established for us and has ever helped us to maintain. Now, let us go on and see how much further we can reduce our preferential tariff on British goods next year. I see my colleague the Minister of Finance is watching me closely, he is afraid I am going to develop what may happen at the next session of parliament, but I will not do so.

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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

Go on, don't let anybody shut you off like that.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Richard Reid Dobell (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hou. Mr. DOBELL.

I am pleased to hear that from such an expert. Now, there is one difficulty in carrying out that part of the amendment calling for closer trade with Great Britain and her dependencies. Great Britain has told us distinctly and clearly that she cannot entertain any proposition for inter-imperial preferential trade that is not based on free trade. I think that is perfectly reasonable. I think our premier was perfectly right in saying that he had no wish to interfere with the fiscal policy of Great Britain. How can we desire to interfere when Great Britain has placed us here and said to us : Adopt your own

policy, we give you full leave to do as you like. We have done as we liked, and Great Britain has never shown the slightest feeling or irritation because we tax her goods while she lets ours in free. Id closing I would like to read to the House a statement of my own views made fifteen years ago as to the best policy for this country. I do not place those views before you as voicing the views of my colleagues. I think 0G

this cabinet is very happily constituted in that, while we hold different views, we adopt the same policy of hastening slowly and working towards the goal that we hope to reach eventually. It may take a long time, but I think in twenty-five years more we will have a good chance of getting there. If the country will only be patient and give us twenty-five years more of power, you will see, I think, that we will reach a free trade level. Now, this is what I said : Incidental protection is all that this country requires. I mean by incidental protection the collection of such an amount of revenue at the ports of the Dominion as will enable the government to pay the ordinary expenses of administration, but not duties levied as a pure and simple protection. I believe the best, the simplest and most economical way of collecting our revenue, if it were practicable, would be by 'per capita,' and not import duty at all ; that the country would thrive better, that it would be a cheaper land to live in, and that people would throng to it from all countries where distress prevailed.

I know perfectly well when I enunciate this view that free trade is not practicable. We have got to protect vested interests, and we know how largely those interests are wrapped up in the welfare of the country. I see the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) is smiling, but I say in perfect candour and frankness that we cannot make any sudden change. I think, Mr. Speaker, I have said all that is necessary for me to say on this occasion, and I will close with an expression of the hope that hon. gentlemen opposite will help us in working out the fullest possible measure of inter-imperial trade.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier).

It seems to me as this debate proceeds that it becomes more and more difficult to express any view which is absolutely novel on the question under discussion. But certainly there is one feature of the debate which deserves to be noticed, and that is the extraordinary divergence of views which the debate has revealed on the part of hon. gentlemen who sit on the government side of this House. We have on the one hand many strong supporters of the government who openly complain of the present fiscal policy, and declare that the duties are a great deal too high. We have my hon. friend the member for Russell (Mr. Edwards), who only a few days ago, though he sits at the present moment side by side with a protectionist Prime Minister, declared that this tariff was one he did not approve of, and that it should be reduced. Then there are other hon. members coming from the west who have expressed the same view very strongly, and the hope that before long a reduction will be made in the present rate of duty. That is one school that exists on the other side of the House. On the other hand we have heard hon. members contending that the tariff which we have is in reality a protective tariff, that in its

essence, in its main features, it is tlie same tariff policy that held force in this country previous to the advent of tlie present administration. I listened with the greatest of attention to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright), and I was considerably surprised at his arguments. He says that we are living under a revenue tariff, and that that is really the character of the present tariff. Well, Sir, believing as I do with the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Richardson) and with all eminent writers on political economy, that any tariff which exceeds 17 per cent, and which brings into the public exchequer a larger amount than is absolutely necessary to carry on the public affairs of the country, must be a protective tariff, I was surprised to hear the Minister of Trade and Commerce maintain that opinion. X had expected that in presence of these three schools and with such divergent views, the hon. minister without portfolio (Hon. Mr. Dobell) was going to elucidate and explain these differences.

Far from it. I find that, for my part, I totally fail to apprehend the distinction he made, although he is, as we all know, a practical steamship man. He has shown it in the way in which he has managed this fast Atlantic business. Thisidea, which he expressed, of a twin-screw steamer, with one screw propelling forward and the other backwards, I do not understand at all. He, himself, has grave

doubts as to the adaptability of that simile, and as evidence of that, he said that the only way to levy money for the administration of public affairs was by a per capita tax. Under these circumstances, I say that it is not surprising that the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, when he delivered his speech upon the budget, asked us, implored us, as an opposition, to formulate some policy, and to express, as a united party, what our policy was. I take exception to that demand, and I say that in the mouth of the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce that demand sounds like something strange and pathetic. I deem it that an opposition, fresh from the polls, a party recently defeated by the vote of the people, have some other duty extended to them than to bob up in parliament and formulate a policy. We have had a policy ; that policy, I take it, has not met with the approval of the people, and under these circumstances, I think our duty is rather to ask these hon. gentlemen to unite upon a policy, to express a policy in order that we shall be in a position to criticise its application to the wants of the country, instead of asking us to formulate a policy at the present moment. I question very much, if. in the whole annals of British parliamentary history, in a country which has some knowledge. I take it. of the administration of popular institutions, whether we will find in any one single instance the spectacle of a Mr. MONK.

party recently defeated at the polls presenting itself in parliament and formulating a policy. Is it in order that we should choose a policy for hon. gentlemen opposite to take from us and administer in a way in which we do not want it to be administered ? No, Sir. I deem that it is our duty to sit here as critics, to see in what manner the government propose to apply the policy which they have, and in what manner that policy is going to benefit the country. But, there is something more. There is a lesson in this demand made of the opposition by the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, in this sighing which he seems to have for the expression of a policy on our behalf. I would be reluctant, after the example he himself presents to us, to formulate a policy. Why ? What benefit has it been to that hon. gentleman himself to formulate a policy in the past ? Has it received any execution, has it brought him to any other place than to the place he occupies, to-day, himself, than this, to see a man of his known ability and experience occupying a position in this cabinet which he, himself, on many previous occasions, declared to be a useless one, and one that should be done away with ? He had a policy ; he preached strongly the policy of free trade. Have we got free trade ? He is obliged to admit that the policy of which he was such an ardent pursuer, such a devoted defender, has been replaced by the policy of a revenue tariff. If hon. members will take the trouble to read the speech made by the right hon. Prime Minister, they will find that he is completely contradicted, that the right hon. Prime Minister maintains that our policy at the present moment is a protective policy that has as its ultimate object free trade. Did not the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce advocate strongly, in many different forms, closer commercial relations with the United States ? What has become of that ? Did not he advocate that point at one time, and in strong language, in language which, I am told, was most forcible, but which I never had the occasion myself to hear in this House, because I was not here when the hon. gentleman sat in the place which we occupy to-day ? Did not he strongly advocate and declare necessary, because it had become a source of danger, a reduction in the public debt ? Was not that one of his strongest policies at one time ? Where are we to-day in that regard ? We have increased the public debt by many millions since the hon. gentleman has had it in his power to control the policy of the country. The hon. gentleman had a policy also, and he expressed it freely, and that was a policy in which, as has been stated on this side of the House, many Conservatives throughout the country coincided. That policy was, that our yearly expenditure was too great. The hon. gentleman, and some of his colleagues, declared that the expenditure might be reduced by

many millions. Has that declaration been of any use to him ? Has the party of which he is a member been guided by it since they came into power ? We know that it is absolutely the opposite of that policy that has prevailed, and we heard how the hon. gentleman has endeavoured to explain away the increase of $4,000,000 or $5,000,000 in the yearly expenditure of the government. My hon. friend who was so anxious and who thinks it so very necessary and indispen-sible that we should go forward and formulate a policy, was in favour of a reduction in the number of cabinet ministers. One might really say that the expenditure of the country in that regard has increased instead of diminished. My hon. friend subscribed at one time, in a solemn conclave of his party, to the proposition that the time had come to totally abolish railway subsidies. That was his policy, not only in this House, but, I think, he addressed public meetings throughout the country upon this point during the period when he sat on these benches. He also formulated that policy known as the policy of the Patrons of Industry. He formulated that policy in so many words, over his own signature. What has come of it ? We never have had such immense expenditures under that head as since the hon. gentleman has been in control of the administration of this country. My hon. friend will recognize, I am sure, that at one time his policy was the total and complete independence of parliament. Has that policy been carried out ? We all know that these hon. gentlemen have violated their professions in that regard, that they have placed a larger number of their supporters in office during the few years that they have been in power than was ever placed before they assumed the reins of office during the same period of time. But, I would proceed with an endless enumeration. Was not my hon. friend a strong supporter of the principle that public works should be executed by public tender ? What has he to say to the words which fell from the mouth of the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries the other day, who, in his own dulcet tones, said to us : You cannot expect us to depart from the principle that we must help our friends when we are in office ? What has he to say of the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Tarte), who has made it a principle to depart entirely from the rule that public contracts ought to be given by tender ? On' the contrary, I maintain, and we had proof of it the other day, that public contracts are reserved for party friends. Under these circumstances, I think that the claim of my hon. friend, that we should formulate a policy, ought to be accepted with a great deal of diffidence on this side of the House, and with a great deal of doubt. Why, my hon. friend even went so far as to subscribe to the principle, that the important question of prohibition should be 66J

submitted to the vote of the whole electors of Canada, and that the government, who had an affirmative vote on that point, should accede to the will of the people. He believed that we should do as they do in Switzerland, and some other states, and proceed on these important points by a regular submission of the question to the votes of the individual electors, and be governed thereby. What has come of that policy ? It has been thrown to the winds, like every other principle or policy declared by the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Under these circumstances, for my part, I feel great confidence in the principle of lying low, of waiting, and not of enunciating great theories and principles which I never intend carrying into practice ; but, taking my true position as a member of the opposition, waiting and seeing how these gentlemen intend carrying out the policy which they set forth, in such magnificent language, when they sat on this side of the House.

Now, Mr. Speaker, as to the amendment which is now under discussion, I wish to be as brief as possible, and I lay before you this proposition : That by the preference which we are granting to Great Britain we lose in this country a sum stated in round figures to be $2,000,000 a year. I say we are losing that sum, because I defy hon. gentlemen opposite to prove to us that upon the articles exported from England and which reach here under the British preference, the consumer really gets the benefit of that preference. It goes as we all know -and hon. gentlemen opposite cannot establish the contrary-it goes to enrich the British manufacturer. It goes practically as a bounty to the manufacturers of Sheffield and Manchester and Bradford, as against our own Canadian manufacturers, and we consumers in Canada do not derive the benefit which we ought to derive from that preference. Under these circumstances the question arises : Whether this lavishness, this immense degree of favour extended to a class of people who extend no favour toi us is justified in the present state of this young country. Is our financial position such that we can afford to make this distribution of wealth in England where it is not required, to the detriment of our own people ? Sir, we were told by the Finance Minister that we have a great surplus, and I would ask this House how it is that the announcement of such a large surplus as the sum of $8,000,000 should have left the people so entirely unaffected. The reason is that the people take very little stock in surpluses. They have very little belief in the reality of the existence of such a thing as a surplus, and I believe that the common sense of the people which considers rather what is the state of the public debt; what is the amount which we expend annually ; I believe that is a sounder theory than the theory of book-keeping by which the Minister of Finance arrives at the

208S

conclusion which he was so proud to announce to the House. That is the reason that when the announcement was made by the Finance Minister, the people were found indifferent to it. Why, Sir, the day after the Minister of Finance had made his speech I found myself in Montreal. I met a number of people, and nobody, either Liberal or Conservative, seemed to attach any importance to the fact that the Minister of Finance had made that announcement. In fact, the only joyful people I saw were the little boys selling the Montreal Herald at the street corners, who were announcing in loud tones : We give away with each copy of the Herald a picture of the Hon. Mr. Fielding. And when I recall the fact that that newspaper received some $20,000 or $25,000 from the government last year, and when I saw that each one of these boys had received instructions to give away a picture of the Minister of Finance, I asked myself : Is this a pure unalloyed case of gratitude, or else is it, as the cynic says, a keen appreciation of favours to come.

Now, Sir, I said a moment ago that I believe the people of this country are not led astray by this announcement of a surplus ; that what they consider is the increase of the public debt and the amount of the annual expenditure, and the per capita increase of the rate of taxation upon the people. Taking these two points into consideration we have as a result incontrovertible, that during the administration of this government the public debt has been increased by over $7,000,000, and that in face of the fact that during the years which preceded their advent to power they declared that the increase of the public debt had become a great danger and that the first thing they would do would be to reduce it. We have had also, as a matter of fact, during the past fiscal year an increase in the per capita taxation (the amount of burden which weighs upon the people of Canada) of over $1.63 per head. That is iwhat the people consider. And why is it that they pay so little attention to the announcement that we have a surplus ? It is because they know perfectly well, as we all know, that these surpluses are in reality not in the public chest, not as a rule invested In real capital-that is to say, in capital which directly or indirectly produces some revenue to the state-but that that surplus, to a very large extent, has been devoted to special expenditure from which under no circumstances whatever can the country expect any return. If you take the statement of the Finance Minister himself, we find that he gives the total revenue received during the past year at about $51,000,000, and if we add what he calls the ordinary expenditure of $44,002,323.56 to the special expenditure which he states we have to meet before the end of the year, and as- these special expenditures amount to $9,742,187.33, then we find that wre have spent during the year a

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

sum of no less than $53,S44,510.39. And the best proof of that expenditure is that in order to complete the amount required for the financial year of 1900, we will have to pass an additional money vote in this House. We cannot take that sum out of the surplus indicated by the Finance Minister ; we will require a special vote of the House for it, because we have more than exhausted the total revenue of the country. I will not go so far as to say that out of that capital expenditure there are not some amounts from which we can expect a return, but I say that if hon. members will take the trouble to carefully scan each item of capital expenditure in the Auditor General's Report they will find a vast amount of expenditure which properly ought to fall under the annual expenditure of the country, and not be charged to capital account.. I believe, Sir, that until we have some authoritative definition by parliament or by some officer independent of parliament, or by some commission which will settle in a permanent manner what is strictly to be called capital expenditure, this confusion of the account will always exist, and the people will never be absolutely certain as to the exact state of the finances of this country.

Now, Sir, without taking up too much of the time of the House or going into too many details, if hon. members will take the trouble to turn to these items which the lion. Minister of Finance indicated to us as being capital expenditure-if they will look at the expenditure of some $200,000 in connection with Dominioin lands, they will see numberless items which ought properly be entered under the annual expenditure ; if they will turn to the militia expenditure, they will find that ammunition itself is classed as capital expenditure ; if they will look at the extraordinary transaction called the Yukon telegraph extension, which has been perpetrated by the Minister of Public Works, and examine one by one the items connected with the execution of that work- a work which was undertaken without tender, without any fixing of the prices beforehand, to my mind a scandalous transaction- they will find under the head of capital expenditure, drinking cups, pistols, ammunition, eiderdown quilts, tobacco. In fact, if I did not fear to trespass on the attention of the House, I would quote some of those items, and It would become evident that to call that capital expenditure is not only contrary to every sound business principle and principle of book-keeping, but contrary to every tenet of common sense. The hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) made the statement with the utmost complacency that it was very strange that people on this side of the House should find fault, because the Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Blair) had expended some $4,000,000 on the Intercolonial Railway, and had succeeded in deriving from

that enterprise a revenue of $4,000,000 also. AVe all know that the Intercolonial Railway Is In pretty much the same position to-day in which it has always been, and in which it will ever be, until the management of that road is taken completely out of the control of political influences. If members of this House will take the trouble to examine the capital expenditure incurred on the Intercolonial Railway last year, a work which has already cost us something like $60,000,000, they will find that in some $1,700,000 there are a number of items which no railway man of experience would class under the head of capital expenditure. Take, for instance, the construction of the elevators at St. John and Halifax, if you wish to apply the principle of capital expenditure producing some revenue. Are these works, which have cost something over $200,000, to be placed in the category of works producing a revenue for this country ? I venture to say that if we had the total amount spent on maintenance of these elevators and the total amount of grain handled by them, you would find that it has cost about as much to move the grain that has come to these elevators as it would cost to move it with a teaspoon. Under these circumstances, I venture to say that the placing under the head of capital expenditure of at least two-thirds of the amounts mentioned by the Minister of Finance is an error, according to the principles of sound book-keeping.

It is a mistake, I think, to say that the public, or even the press, which under ordinary circumstances is favourable to my hon. friends, has been totally gratified at their administration of the finances of the country. On the day after the day on which the hon. Minister of Finance delivered his budget speech, an article appeared in the Montreal Witness, a paper by no means unfavourable to the present government, which expressed, to my mind, the views of a very large number of people on the financial administration of the present government. I have not the quotation here, but the sense of it ds that there is great dissatisfaction throughout the country at the failure of the Liberal party to carry out the pledges which they made so formally to the country before they assumed the reins of office, and that that dissatisfaction will go on increasing until practical measures are taken to reduce the public debt and the annual expenditure. The same view is expressed by the Huntingdon Gleaner, a paper of wide circulation published in the eastern townships, favourable to the present government, and one which on more than one occasion has expressed its dissatisfaction at the failure of the government to carry out its pledges. There is no doubt that this government has been above all things a fortunate government. We have had a run of extraordinary prosperity, for which the Minister of Finance takes credit. But if we look at what has been actually carried out in the way of improvement during that period of prosperity, what do we find ?

If you will take the extreme western limit of the country, the Yukon territory, where, according to a report which was laid before parliament several years ago, we had the authoritative declaration of Mr. Ogilvie that there were $100,000,000 of gold in sight, has the government actually derived every possible benefit which we had a right to expect from the discovery of that rich gold-bearing country ? The Minister of Trade and Commerce seems to be superabundantly satisfied from the fact that we have been able to derive from that country sufficient revenue to meet its expenses. But is that all we had a right to expect V

In 1897, when that impossible scheme, which the Minister of Railways then submitted to this parliament, was under discussion, when we had submitted to us the project of important concessions to certain railway contractors who were to build a line of communication with the Yukon, the hon. the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) threatened the members who sat to your left, Mr. Speaker, with dire regrets in the future for venturing to oppose that scheme. Upon that occasion, I remember quoting from an English paper to the effect that we were pursuing in Canada a policy which had brought untold misfortune to other gdld-bearing countries, namely, the policy of opening up that country to all strangers, of delivering over the richest gold finds in newly discovered regions to manipulators and speculators, and I ventured to prophesy then that the people of Canada as a whole, and the individual members of this community, would derive very little benefit from the Yukon. It seems to me that that prediction has to a very large extent been verified. The Dominion itself, under the showing of the Minister of Finance, has not realized anything like a sufficient amount to meet the expenditure of that section, and where do we meet individual Canadians who have derived great benefit from the Yukon ? They are very few in number. Speaking for my own province, I venture to say that you can count on the fingers of one hand the individuals who have enriched themselves in that land which, it was claimed at that time, belonged to us and to us alone.

Then -with respect to agriculture, have we made any great reforms ? With the immense revenues at the disposal of this government, has the Minister of Agriculture succeeded in making any great innovations? Has he done anything in the province of Quebec to advance the cause of agriculture? The agricultural classes of that province, Mr. Speaker, have by their own individual efforts made immense strides of late years, and since this government has come into power they have appealed for the establishment of model farming schools in that province. One at least would be of some use

to the people, but I venture to say that the Minister of Agriculture is not able to point out, in spite of the great revenue which this country has enjoyed since he has occupied his position, any one thing of consequence which he has done to promote that interest which he ought to have so much at heart.

As regards immigration, I venture to say that the system which has been followed is one which ought not to prevail. I think there is a great deal of truth in the observation made by my hon. friend from Lisgar (Mr. Richardson), and the same opinion prevails in my own province, that we should now begin to consider the necessity of reserving the lands of the North-west for our own people or else select for those lands the very best class of immigrants that can be found on the other side of the Atlantic. Those who are familiar with the system of immigration in my own province maintain that it is better to spend .$3,000 in bringing out five or six or eight or ten good immigrants to the country and in looking after them from the time they leave Europe until they are well settled, than in spending one-half the money in bringing out a horde of people whose habits and education are alien to our institutions. And in bringing out good settlers, we must not forget that they will not only themselves become a valuable addition to our population, but will be the most profitable immigration agents you could possibly have. Is that the policy followed out by this government ? No, Sir, we are spending over half a million dollars a year on immigration, and that expenditure lias become an immense engine of patronage. We have a number of agents scouring European countries to bring out immigrants whom it would be better to leave at home. Have we the splendid results pointed out by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright), when he said it was surprising to hear any expressions of discontent on this side, in view of the fact that 30,000 or 40,000 farms had been settled during the past year by the proper kind of immigrants. I say, Mr. Speaker, that that statement is not correct. I say that the policy of importing Doukho-bors, people from eastern Europe, about whom we know little and of whom what little we do know is unfavourable, is a mistaken policy, and I think that the sooner Mr. Preston is called down from the position he occupies, the better it will be for the country. At present this gentleman is travelling through Europe at a salary of $4,COO a year and expenses. The other day he gave an interview to a Montreal paper in which he stated he was about to travel in eastern Asia and to visit the Moloccan race and expected to secure there a very large number of immigrants for this country. But who knows whether this race, which Mr. Preston intends bringing out, is more or less acceptable than the Doukliobors. We have already some idea of what that kind Mr. MONK.

of importation means, and of what kind of ideas such people entertain. We had the other day a manifesto in which these Douk-hobors complained of the laws of this country and declared that they believed in free love and other things of that kind. We all know that these men have most extraordinary ideas about the organization of society, and I consider them a great danger for this country. That is the opinion which prevails in the province of Quebec with regard to bringing out such a large number of these immigrants when we do not know, from our own experience, what kind of settlers they will make. The other day, in answer to a question from this side of the House, we had the Minister of the Interior repudiating the profession of faith made on behalf of the Doukhobor population and declaring that it was made by one whom he termed a Russian and not a Doukhobor. Well, I find in last Saturday's Witness an address to the Doukhobor population of Canada by one of their own race, one who signs himself their loving brother, and one who evidently is a leader among them-Mr. Leo Tolstoi. And if hon. members will take the trouble to look through that address they will find there an absolute confession of communism as an article of faith among that population. Mr. Tolstoi, after addressing these people as dear brethren and sisters, says to them :

We do not fail against the teachings of Jesus, but confirm ourselves in it; to our own we provide food and a life without care, and we can assist the poorest when they are at the point of starvation. That is fundamentally wrong, my beloved. What one calls his property he will not only not let another have, but even defend it against him with all his might. And he who wishes to defend anything by force must be prepared to quarrel, and, in extreme cases, even to commit murder. Without force, without homicide, no property can be maintained. That we get along without violence and manslaughter, we thank those whose calling it is to guard and secure our property. Every proprietor needs soldiers and policemen; will you be proprietors, then your refusal was worthless to serve as soldiers and policemen; then you w.ould have done better to perform such service instead of to covet only the enjoyment of the acquired goods.

And he goes on in this strain, but I will not read the whole quotation. As the Witness remarks in an editorial, this is neither more nor less than a profession of communism. Are we to be told that in the whole continent of Europe, with Great Britain, France, Belgium and Germany to select from, we cannot possibly find better settlers for this country than these men who profess communism and who declare, and who come here and are even imported, on the understanding that they will not bear arms for the defence of this country ? I venture to say that the whole immigration system of this country ought to be remodelled, ought to be improved, and that we should bring to our shores only the very best that can be found in Europe, and

under the best supervision. On this point, as upon many others, I do not think that, with the vast resources at the command of the government, they have done what might properly be expected of them. I do not think that, considering the wants of this country, we are in a position to make the sacrifice we are making, and which I mentioned at the beginning of my remarks, the sacrifice of about ,$2,000,000 a year under circumstances which seem to me totally unwarrantable.

Now, I do not think that, in the matter of bonusing railways, the government, having fallen from the high principles which they professed when they sat on the opposition benches, has proceeded with the greatest wisdom. We have at the present moment in Montreal a proof of my statement. We have there a railway which we purchased at a price which no man from Quebec will deny was a very exorbitant price. I speak of the Drummond County Railway. And we have gratified the Grand Trunk with an immense sum for the improvement of the bridge, and we are paying them an immense sum annually as rent. And what is the consequence ? We find that the Grand Trunk, after this immense sacrifice made by the country, is actually working to build up the port of Portland instead of maintaining the valuable port of Montreal. And what is the cause ? One of the principal causes is the failure of the government to insert in the agreement, at the time when these arrangements with the Grand Trunk were made, a clause which would protect the city of Montreal and protect that port upon which we have spent, are spending, and intend to spend, such large sums of money. With the resources which prosperity has brought to the government, have we really availed ourselves of every opportunity in the matter of expenditure ? We find every year in the estimates submitted to us large amounts for wharfs and public buildings. There does not seem to be a member on the other side who does not seem desirous of perpetuating his own memory by erecting within the limits of his constituency either a public building or a wharf. But, Sir, even with these immense resources, has this government solved, has it even attempted to solve in a manner beneficial to this country the great question of transportation ? I submit to this House that that problem, that difficult problem, which we are now called upon to deal with has been dealt with in a most inefficient manner by this government. We have to the south of us a people armed with immense resources. They are bent on securing the carrying trade of the west. They have money galore, they have brains and, so far, in that struggle to secure for our own country at least a fair proportion of the traffic of the west. I submit we have utterly failed. Divide, Mr. Speaker, into two parts the

route which we must consider in dealing with this question of transportation. From Montreal to the west what have we ? We have not those improvements in the canal system which will become necessary if we are to rival to any successful degree our American neighbours. There is not at the present moment any possibility for a boat drawing fourteen feet of water to pass through the canals of Canada. In La Patrie, the day before yesterday, we find a letter from the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) admitting that it is impossible for a boat drawing fourteen feet of water to pass through the canals-and this in spite of the statement which was made here by the Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair). And, Sir, I venture to say, without claiming any special knowledge of that subject, that, until we have free canals in this country it will be very difficult for us to meet the Americans on the question of transportation. But, once you are in Montreal the errors committed by this government are still more flagrant. Very far from having made of the port of Montreal a national port, that port is a disgrace to that city. We have no elevator. That is the crying need of the city of Montreal. And how have these hon. gentlemen met the call, which, more than once, has been made by the city of Montreal for the erection of proper elevators in that place ? They have committed the greatest possible mistake. They made a contract for the erection of elevators with Mr. Conners. Anybody might have known that any contract having in view the erection of elevators in Montreal which depends for its success on American capital is bound to fail. It did fail. And we have no elevators at the present moment, in spite of the claims urged time and again by all the commercial bodies of that city. I tell hon. gentlemen opposite-and I believe they will come to the same conclusion before long-that the only way in which they can secure that portion of the trade of the west to which we are entitled is by making an arrangement with the carriers of the lakes to interest them in the port of Montreal. They are able, if they are interested in a proper way and without undue sacrifice of money by this government, to erect the elevators where required -not where Mr. Conner's elevator was erected, but at the place where the business men of Montreal required these elevators. What is required is an elevator situated in the middle of the port, available for the Intercolonial Railway, available for water-borne and railway-borne grain, and which can distribute to the ships about the centre of the port, without undue expense, the grain received there. Until we have these elevators, the system is incomplete. And unless the port of Montreal is provided, and provided very soon, with the wharfs which we require there, I venture

to say that every effort we may make to secure the commerce of the west will prove unavailing. And, what is the condition when you leave Montreal and proceed to the ocean ? Have lion, gentlemen who sit in this House taken the trouble to read the report of the inquiry held by the business men of Montreal into the condition of the shipping between Montreal and the ocean? Why, Sir, the underwriters' rates we have to pay are absolutely prohibitive and must favour the American channels of commerce to the detriment of Montreal.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Eecess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

When you left the Chair. Mr. Speaker, I was endeavouring to establish that with the immense resources which a period of great inflation and prosperity had placed at the disposal of the government, the government had failed to grapple successfully with some of the most vital problems that concern the future of this country. I gave as an instance the transportation question, showing that in my opinion the transportation question, so far as it is connected with the canal system, had not been dealt with vigorously, had not been dealt with by the government as it should have been, in view of the immense rivalry which we have to contend with from the other side of the line. I had spoken of Montreal. The condition of the port of Montreal at the present time, I said, was disgraceful ; and that in the interest of a proper solution of that question the government should devote its energies, its attention, and perhaps some of its immense surplus, .to placing that port in a position to compete successfully with the ports of the United States, which are drawing away the great commerce of the west. Well, Sir, I do believe that if the Minister of Public Works had had a free hand to place that port upon a proper footing, possibly things might be in a better condition than they are to-day.

But the trouble is that the transportation question interests too many authorities, there are too many who have to deal with the solution of that question to make a prompt and perfect solution of it. When you come to deal with the canal system, you have the policy, you have the ideas of the Minister of Railways and Canals ; when you come to deal with the ports, the landing places on the upper lakes, you have to deal with the Minister of Public Works ; when you come to the port of Montreal, things are still more complicated. You have the Minister of Public Works, you have the Minister of Customs, you have a body there called the Montreal Harbour Board ; and when you leave Montreal, and even before leaving Montreal for the high seas, you have the authority, you have the policy, you have Mr. MONK.

the ideas of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. It is my conviction that until that transportation question, so important to us, is confined either to the final decision of one man or of one body, there will be conflicts. Conflicts have arisen in the past, divergence of views, and the consequence will be that the trade and commerce of this country will greatly suffer. Once you leave the port of Montreal and go towards the ocean, members of this House who will take the trouble to scan the report of the shipping inquiry held in Montreal, the resolutions passed by the Board of Underwriters, the testimony of pilots, of disinterested men such as captains who come to our shores from Europe, you will find that from Montreal to the sea the system of lights is entirely inadequate. It is surprising to think that during these four years of plenty no improvement has been made In our signal service. The system of fog signals is condemned unanimously both by pilots and by the captains, and when you come to the channel there are defects at every step. So that between the port of Montreal and the ocean there is no reason for surprise whatever that the rates charged upon shipping, 'upon hulls as well as cargoes, are absolutely prohibitive, and militate naturally in favour of American enterprise.

As to the question of elevators, for my own part I do not believe that in Montreal the interests of our trade would be enhanced by the government building an elevator ; neither do I believe, we have proof of it in the past, that the building of an elevator by an American capitalist depending upon American capital, upon the assistance which he may receive at Buffalo or elsewhere in the United States, can possibly have any but disastrous results. My own conviction is that we should interest in the shipping in Montreal the carriers on the great lakes. They could build a suitable elevator there with reasonable assistance from the government. They would be interested in supplying that elevator with grain and without the expense of too large a sum of money. By enlisting the interests of the carriers on our lakes, we would succeed in bringing to Montreal a very large proportion of the grain that finds its outlet through American ports. But even if we brought to Montreal the whole grain of the North-west, as things are in Montreal at present, we could not deal with that grain once it reached that port.

In connection with what might have been done during this era of prosperity, I think it is not improper to refer to the utter failure of the government to give us that service which, to my mind, is a necessary complement of the transportation question, which is its final solution, that is to say, the fast Atlantic service. It is a well known fact that when this government came into power in 1896, arrangements had been completed for a fast Atlantic service. There

[DOT]2098

remained merely tlie question of formality to fulfil. The arrangements were binding between the Allans and the government, and the only thing the government had to do was to put the contract into shape and to have it approved by the Governor in Council. Well, Sir, what spectacle have we had ? 1 do not see here the minister (Mr. Dobell) who more particularly was charged with carrying out the pledge given, I think, in the speech from the Throne in 1896, that we would have a fast Atlantic service ; but the results which have been obtained are absolutely nil. The minister without portfolio has made many voyages to Europe, he has crossed the Atlantic many times, he has lured us like a mermaid with bottlenecked ships and plans of all kinds, but as a matter of fact the results obtained are absolutely nil ; and if he were not such an amiable man one would be inclined to say that he deserved himself to be taken upon some desert island in the Pacific ocean and there marooned for his negligence to carry out the scheme for which the government gave us such high hopes. But, Sir, during this period of inflation, when the commerce of the whole world has received such a great impetus, these gentlemen who have had the government of this country in their hands for several years, have made no serious effort to extend our trade relations with other countries. They have done nothing whatever to extend our trade relations with the sister colonies, with the great dependencies of Britain throughout the world. In that respect, as in many others, we are forced' to the conclusion that they have failed to fulfil the promises which they made to the people of Canada. Take the United States. You know, Mr. Speaker, perhaps better than many of us, that in the province of Quebec in 1896, and ever since then, it has been stated that very soon we would have commercial arrangements concluded with the United States. It was the great boast of our hon. friends opposite when they were in opposition that if they could have the reins of power for a short time, we would very soon see improved trade relations with the United States. We have spent a great deal of money in connection with that commission, and that commission has sat very often. Have our trade relations with the United States been improved in any manner, or is it not the case that we have sacrificed our own interests to those of the Americans without any return whatever ? What is the positon today ? We are discussing a question of very great importance. If the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce is so anxious to know w?hat our policy is he will find occasion in this resolution which is under discussion to discover what we think in regard to this feature of our trade relations. Italy shut us out practically from trade with that country when we had an incipient trade of great hope. We are shut out from the

United States, aud we are shut out from Germany. All the nations of the world, practically, are in a position of hostility in respect to ourselves. Hon. gentlemen opposite think that they have effaced all that by giving a preference to Great Britain, which has had for effect, to my mind, the placing of Canada in a position most unfavourable with other. countries, and in not giving to our agricultural and other products a position of favour of any kind whatever on the British market. Let me point out that with that great reason and sense which are distinctive traits of the English race, such a concession has never been asked from us by them. But, we find that almost every session since this preference has existed, the hon. Minister of Finance looks to this side of the House, and seems to dare anybody to call in question the advisability of our giving a preference to England without receiving anything in return. We heard him the other day, when he looked to this side of the House and asked if there was any man who was unfavourably disposed towards that preference, and when he heard ' hear, hear ' from this side of the House, he seemed ready to brand this expression of view as traitorous. All I can say is. that my notions of loyalty and the notions which seem to prevail with the hon. Min- ' ister of Finance are greatly at variance. When England granted, as she so generously did, an absolute and entire measure of self government to her great dependencies. she gave us a mission, and that mission was to do all that in our power lay for the proper development of our own country. Taking that view. I deem it that when we are making a fiscal policy for this country, we ought to have regard in the very first instance to what is best and most suitable for our own country, irrespective of what the interests of England may be. That is my contention, because I belieVe that everything that will go to build up trade and develop this country, will on to the advancement and aggrandizement of the British Empire at large. In reality. Sir, the policy of these hon. gentlemen, in so far as preferential trade is concerned, seems to be a policy of despair and inaction. They say : We have taken a step, we have granted a preference to England, but, when we invoke the necessity of putting in force the other side of the question, the side which interests us as Canadians, they tell us that there is no hope or expectation. The hon. Minister of Finance told us, in Montreal, not long ago, that a hope of that kind must necessarily be ephemeral, and that those who advocated mutual inter-imperial preferential trade could be nothing else than humbugs. This is a proposition from which I entirely dissent. I said a moment ago that the policy of hon. gentlemen was one of inaction. Surely no honourable man who has at heart the interests of the British Empire, and who lives under the flag which

waves over us, would be prepared to say that he is disposed to deal harshly with England, but are we not going to move public opinion in England in the direction of our own interests ? What, 1 say, have this government done in that direction ? Absolutely nothing. We have communicated with England in the past. Those who read the constitutional history of this country will find that time and again we have made representations to the home authorities. We have made representations, for instance, on the instructions that were given under letters patent to the Governors General sent out to this country, we have made representations in reference to home rule, we have passed a resolution in respect to the Transvaal war, and not long ago we adopted a resolution in respect to a matter concerning, if I may use the expression, the internal economy of the British government, in connection with the coronation oath. But, when it comes to making representations to the home government in respect to the necessity and the sheer justice of giving us a more advantageous position in the home market, this government have done absolutely nothing. They have never taken a single step. I defy these hon. gentlemen to show us one single communication they have made to the home government in respect to what I consider to be the just demands of Canadians in regard to our position upon the British market. They have never moved one step in that direction. Well, this is a strange position for these hon. gentlemen to occupy. A couple of days ago, the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, I believe it was, told us that, perhaps, in thirty or forty years, we might expect the realization of our hopes, but, we all know, that in England there is no better way of awakening public opinion than by just such representations as I say this government have failed to make. What did Lord Salisbury say after the convention which took place in Ottawa in 1894 ? I believe the resolutions of that convention were conveyed to him. He stated that the idea of mutual preferential trade was a grand idea, that it was a just idea in so far as we were concerned, but, he said, we are living in a country where popular government prevails: public opinion has not yet moved in that direction, go out and preach the gospel of mutual preferential trade, and when the public of Great Britain will have become aware of the justness of your demands, of the fairness of your proposals, I have no doubt this idea will then be realized. What have, these hon. gentlemen done to move public opinion in England ? Oh, we have commissions to sit upon poor civil servants and employees, commissions that cost thousands of dollars, most of which money has been uselessly spent: but, why have we not a commission, which would cost very little in comparison with the results to be attained, to inquire into this question of vital Mr. MONK.

importance to us, a commission that would sit and do just such a work as was done by that gentleman from Nova Scotia who obtained the thousand guinea prize for an essay on fair trade. I forget his name, but he is well known in public life. Why have we not a commission to study the question, and bring the results of its studies both before the British public and the public of our own country ? I say that this inaction is guilty, and that it indicates that the government are not alive to the importance of our demand in that regard. Have we found any of the members of the government taking an active interest, a live interest, in the congresses of the boards of trade which have taken place since they occupied the Treasury benches, and endeavouring, through these congresses, to move public opinion in the proper direction ? It has been a policy of absolute inaction. We have a High Commissioner in England, we pay a considerable salary to that gentleman, and it is proper that we should have near the home government, a man in that position. It is, I take it, his chief mission to represent to the home government what our interests are, particularly in commercial matters. Has he received any instructions? Has he been requested to make this a cardinal question during his mission in Great Britain, and to endeavour to move public opinion there in the right direction. I defy the government to give us any proof that they communicated with our High Commissioner, asking him to interest the government of England on our behalf and to move public opinion in so far as he could in a direction which is favourable to our interests. The government have not sent representatives to the chief centres of England to test public opinion and to suggest to us the best means of directing it in our favour. And when we come to the press which supports the present government, we find throughout its writings the same policy of despair, and of flippant contempt for every effort made to secure the inestimable boon of mutual preferential trade. We find the Liberal press stating that any person who moves in that direction does not know what he is talking about, and that there is no hope that the present condition of things will change. If we are to believe these gentlemen opposite we are to remain exactly as we are. We are to have no favoured consideration in any of the great markets of Europe in which we might trade, while upon the British market itself we are to be placed absolutely on a par with every foreign nation which raises up a high tariff wall against British goods. Well, Sir, to my mind that position is one that cannot last for a very long time. Have this government invited the consideration of the other colonies to this important question which interests every one of the great dependencies of Great Britain ? No, Sir, they have not sought the support of one of

the great colonies to lielp ns towards the achievement of mutual preferential trade. Their policy is one of absolute inactivity. And as regards personal efforts of the ministers, I think the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell) was perfectly right in saying that the government had absolutely stumbled into this policy. We who sat in the last parliament know that when the preference was first proposed the responsible representatives of the government stated that the preference was to be extended to every country in the world, and when they did restrict the preference to Great Britain they never endeavoured to attract the attention of the English government to what I consider a most legitimate demand on our part. When the right hon. the Prime Minister went to England he was the first to declare that we had no desire for mutual preferential trade, but that on the contrary we offered the preference as a free gift and we did not expect anything in return. Since then other ministers have crossed the ocean and what have they done in the way of obtaining this, to us admittedly inestimable advantage of mutual preferential trade. East summer four of our ministers went to England, but they did nothing in this matter. Why, if we are to believe what the gossips tell us, three of those ministers wTent over on the war path. They went to France for the purpose of returning with the scalp of the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte), and they were busy with very different things than the securing of a proper market for Canadian products in England. And, Sir, they failed even in the object for which they crossed the ocean. The three ministers who are known in Quebec as ' the Three Musketeers ' returned in one ship, and the Minister of Public Works apprised that there was some conspiracy directed against him returned in another ship. It reads almost like one of Marryat's novels or a chapter from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. and what is strange, the Minister of Public Works got here before them, because while they were on the high seas shooting the sun and trying to find out where Labrador was, he had arrived in Quebec and had maintained the position which he thought -and probably properly thought-he was entitled to in this government.

When the British government concluded this modus vivendi with Germany, a modus vivendi under the terms of which we in Canada are sacrificed, did the Canadian government intervene to obtain for our products in Germany at least an equivalent position with that of British goods ? No, Sir, they never moved. They never made any effort in that direction either before or since, and to-day we are in the unfortunate position in the German market, which was pointed out by my hon. friend (Mr. Osier) who replied to the Minister of Finance, and no steps have been taken to rectify that situation. I believe that the sentiment prevails

through Canada as it prevails in my own province, that in giving a preference to England we are entitled in return to a preference in the British market. Last year when we discussed this question I communicated to the House a very able report adopted by the Chambre du Commerce, of Montreal, which is composed of men who belong to all political parties, businessmen and bankers, and they were unanimously of opinion that the present situation is one which can only be of a most transitory nature, and that we must have such a zollverein between the British dependencies and the mother country, as will secure for Canada a favoured position for her products in every portion of the British Empire. In supporting the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition, I am perfectly sure I am voicing the opinion of the people of the province of Quebec. [DOT]

Before I resume my seat, Mr. Speaker, 1 wish to make an allusion to some remarks which fell from my hon. friend from Bona-venture (Mr. Marcil). The hon. gentleman (Mr. Marcil) deemed it necessary to apologize for the vote of the province of Quebec in the last election, a proceeding which to my mind was absolutely uncalled for. I am not aware that any member of this House has made any reflection or any complaint as to the verdict given by the province of Quebec. 1 am pleased to say that even outside of this House I have not heard from any member of my own party any word of reproach. X have heard nothing but the kindest observations so far as the province of Quebec is concerned.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

What about the letter of the member for Pictou (Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper) ?

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CON
LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Did the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bourassa) read it ?

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LIB
CON

March 26, 1901