is tlie same to-day, it is no longer a protective tariff, but a revenue tariff on free trade lines ? On meats brought into the country in 1896 there was a duty of 2 cents a pound, and it was declared to be a protective duty in the interests of the farmers. When the hon. gentleman went to his own province, he asked the people there. Are you going to stand a duty of 75 cents a barrel on flour that comes from Ontario, and 15 cents a bushel on wheat ? He said it was the most odious tax that could be imposed, and declared that the principle of it was wrong. But he came into power and introduced his own tariff, and continued these duties. If it was a protective tariff levied on the protective principle in 1896, it cannot be otherwise to-day ; it is exactly the same. On fresh meats there was a duty of 3 cents a pound in 1896, and there is the same duty to-day. If it was a high protective duty in 1896, it must be a high protective duty to-day. I take canned meats ; there was 25 per cent on them, and there is 25 per cent to-day. I take condensed milk : there was 3 cents a pound duty in 1896; there is 3 cents a pound today. If it was a protective tariff then, it is to the same extent to-day. On apples there was a duty of 40 cents a barrel then, Imposed in the interests of the farmers, and it is 40 cents a barrel to-day. Therefore, I say that if the tariff was a high protective tariff in 1896, it is the same in 1900. Take hay, on which a duty of $2 a ton was imposed in 1896 ; the same duty exists to-day. On potatoes there was a duty of 15 cents a bushel then and there is the same to-day. On butter there was 4 cents a pound then, and there is 4 cents a pound to-day. On cheese there was 3 cents a pound then, and there is 3 cents a pound to-day. I merely cite these articles, because the farmer will be familiar with the argument and can analyse it for himself. It will enable him to see how he is deceived by the Finance Minister, who says to-day, our tariff is not levied on the same principle as the tariff levied by our predecessors ; it is levied as a revenue tariff on free trade lines, while our predecessors' levied their tariff for the purposes of protection. But I say that on every one of these articles the tariff that was a protective tariff in 1896 cannot be a free trade or a revenue tariff to-day. To that extent the arguments of hon. gentlemen opposite are entirely fallacious. When they say that their tariff is a revenue tariff based on free trade lines, I ask, what do you think of the bounty system ? The father of the hon. gentleman who represents South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie), when in this House in 1879, as the member for that riding, said that the bounty system was one of the most odious and extreme forms of protection that any government or any country could apply. But I was amused to hear his son, twenty-two years afterwards, 68}
get up and say : ' We do not object to these systems of protection, but we do object to those who use them to delude the people.' He said he did not object to the bounty system, although it is a system of protection, so long as it is kept within reasonable bounds; and he went on to defend the bounty on iron. I thought how time brings about changes, because the father took the very opposite ground to that taken by the son. The rebate is another system of protection ; but this government are giving rebates just as their predecessors did. Drawbacks are also a protective principle. I remember very distinctly the father of the present member for South Wellington saying that drawbacks could be defended on no grounds. He was speaking of the drawback given to the millers who ground wheat being sent out of the country. Then he went on to try and get a little sympathy from the people of the maritime provinces by saying that the millers of Ontario are allowed to get a drawback on what they sent out of the country.
The millers of Ontario are allowed a drawback on what they send out of the country, but you are obliged to pay a duty of 75 cents per barrel on that flour when it goes down to you, and, therefore, it is wrong. I say that we do not object to the system of protection which these hon. gentlemen have adopted so much as we do to the fact that they have endeavoured to delude the people by telling them that the system is not what it is in reality-by pretending that they have adopted a free trade policy, or something very much nearer it than the policy of their predecessors, and that the taxes are not imposed on protective but on free trade lines as near as possible. What we on this side claim is, that in this tariff system which they have adopted, and which is to some extent protective-and to that extent we do not object to it-the protective element is very much impaired by the way it is carried out. How is it impaired ? In the first place, by the preferential rate. By that rate they have struck at one of the most important industries in the country. The Minister of Customs said that the woollen men had his sympathy, and that he was confident they would devise a means, with their energy and enterprise, of protecting themselves, and he hoped sincerely they would succeed in maintaining their status. The hon. member for South Oxford (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright), in 1877-8, was just as sincere in his regard for the manufacturers who were going to the wall at that time, but, like the present hon. minister, he did not raise a hand to relieve them from their difficulties. I say that the protective system of our tariff is very much impaired by the reduction on British goods. I have cited one line, but could easily cite others, which would furnish an argument quite as strong, to show the importance of the woollen industry. I need only refer to the