March 26, 1901

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

And if I had the name I would gladly give it, because it would strengthen my argument by showing that it comes from a reliable and intelligent source.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

It is from a gentleman engaged in the woollen trade, and the name is no secret, I take it. The writer is Mr. Millichamp, of Toronto.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I suppose so, because it is on paper headed ' Millichamp, Coyle & Co., manufacturers' agents, woollens, &c.' In the face of all this, will hon. gentlemen opposite stand up and defend the beautiful

preference they have given to England ? Will they defend it to the poor operatives who are out of work and starving ? Will they defend it to the men who are going across to the United States to find employment which, under the beautiful revenue tariff is denied them here ? Would they defend it if it came home to themselves, if starvation was brought to their own door by the unwise policy carried out by the Minister of Finance and his friends which they now laud to the sky ? I claim that this tariff is injurious, because, though somewhat protective, the protective element is very much impaired by the preference given to British woollen goods. We contend that it is further impaired by a strong bias towards free trade. It prevents the government extending protection to new lines which might be easily called into existence by a little aid. I will give you one instance. We have had before this House the question of the beet-root sugar industry. We know, from the information collected by the Ontario government and by this government and by the experiments that have been carried on for the last ten or fifteen years, that we have a country admirably adapted for beet-root sugar. All that is required is to have the same principle extended to that industry that has been extended to the iron industry. If this were done, we should have an industry that would give employment to thousands, that would bring in capital from abroad, and that would greatly benefit the farming community. Yet these hon. gentlemen are so wedded to free trade principles and to a revenue tariff that they will not lend a helping hand to assist these industries. I have do doubt whatever that if they would agree to give a bounty of one cent a pound on beet-root sugar for four or five years, inside of a few years we should have a large industry of this kind established in the Dominion.

The hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce told us to-night that last year there were over 330,000,000 pounds imported into this country. To manufacture that 330,000,000 pounds would require between thirty and forty factories, and every pound of it could be made here in Canada. These factories would require an expenditure of $15,000,000 of money to build and to supply with machinery and plant. These thirty factories would employ over 10,000 operatives, directly and indirectly. These thirty factories would consume beets raised by thousands and tens of thousands of farmers, and the farmers would be engaged in a line of industry that would give them four times the profit they now get out of any line of industry that they are engaged in at present. I have complete figures in regard to this, but I will not detain the House by reading them. I only wish that the government would extend their principle of protection as disclosed in the bounty system ; they would thereby

do great good to the farmers, and would start an industry here out of which the farmers would get 60 per cent of all the money expended. The farmers are an important class, their profits are small to-day, and I say the government could well afford to do something in their interests. But with that callousness that has characterized their conduct in connection with the woollen industry, they will do nothing in this respect either. They have introduced a tariff which they say is framed on a revenue basis, and they want to prove to the people that they are carrying out the principle of a free trade tariff.

We contend further that the government is doing harm by inspiring the manufacturers with dou'bt. I believe to-day the manufacturers are becoming frightened. They remember that the Minister of Finance said that the aim of this government is to follow the same principles of trade as prevail in England, that they cannot get down to free trade in a day. The farmers remind the government that they promised to give them a free trade tariff. So we did, reply the government, but it requires time, and we are working towards that end. Therefore, I say the manufacturers are becoming timid, they are not launching out to the same extent as they would do if they had confidence in the principles of the tariff. The government are wedded to their free trade ideas and will not readjust the tariff. From time to time we hear of industries struggling to maintain themselves, and I have given you an example in the woollen trade. I could give you examples in some other lines where competition is becoming so great under the changed conditions and changed values that employers are obliged to cut down the wages of their hands. I have in my possession a letter from Brantford from a gentleman saying a strike is going on in his business because they had to cut down the wages of their operatives. Why did they have to cut down the wages ? Because the competition from abroad is so keen that they cannot hold their own, because there is not sufficient tariff to keep these imported goods out. Therefore these men say they are obliged to cut down wages, and this is from the town from which the Minister of Customs himself comes. The labouring men in his own town are fighting the fight of death.

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An hon, MEMBER.

What is the nature of the business ?

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROTTLE.

The windmill business, carried on by Gould, Shapely & Muir. That is the reason they give. I say the government are so wedded to their free trade theories that although they see one line after another suffering, owing to changed conditions and changed values, they will not readjust their tariff. They say : We do not want any tariff tinkering, we are Mr. SPROULE.

going to let it go on, we are going to show you that stability is one of the important features in our tariff. Now, Sir, I come to the amendment that is before the House, which I wish to deal with very briefly. The first clause reads :

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 Interests of the country.

This clause aims at reassuring the people of our continued belief in the value of protection to labouring men, to manufacturers, to miners, to farmers, and to the artisans of this country. We believe in the principle of a protective tariff which will keep Canada for the Canadians. We reassert that principle as a good one, we are not ashamed of it. The second clause in the amendment states that we are in favour of mutual preferential trade. But they say : That is folly, because you cannot get it. I ask them, Have you tried to get it ? The First Minister read the other night several extracts from resolutions passed and speeches made in England when a discussion was carried on with the object in view of getting mutual preferential trade. He said these efforts did not eventuate in anything, and that we can never get it. Does he forget that the very same arguments were used with reference to the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway ? We were told then: You can never build a railway, or if you do it will never pay, it won't pay for the grease of the wheels. Although the hon. gentlemen were in power, they would not try to do anything, and the people turned them out and put in another set of men who went to work, and the result has been a magnificent success. And so with mutual preferential trade, if these gentlemen won't try to get it, if they won't make any reasonable effort, then let them get out and give their places to men who will make an effort to get it. They say they believe it is right, then why do they not make an effort to get it. Ah, but they tell us, you cannot get it, the English people are not ready for it. When the hon. member for East Toronto went over to England and with others saw Lord Salisbury, Lord Salisbury would not even discuss it because the time was not opportune. Why would he not discuss it ? Because the Australasian colonies were about banding themselves into a confederation. They have done so now, and they will soon be framing their tariff. So I say the present is an opportune time above all times in the history of Canada for these hon. gentlemen to make an effort. We have reason to believe that Australia desires the same principle of trade as we do, and that she will go in with us and with the other colonies. Then, I say it would be strengthening the hands of the

mother country, it would have great influence upon the English people, if we were to make a move now. I believe it would produce a change in their mind which would eventuate in great benefit for us. But we are told that because the conditions were so and so two years ago, we can never get it. They tell us that the people of Great Britain will never consent to have their breadstuffs taxed. I have here a special despatch to the Globe, dated March 25, which says :

It is reported in many quarters that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will have to find such a huge sum of money In his budget that foreign grain coming into this country may bear some of the burden of the extra taxation. It is almost impossible to further increase the amount levied on many articles that now provide the national revenue, but with a strong and well-led opposition the taxation of imported bread-stuffs would be a difficult question.

He says it is rumoured that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be obliged to put a duty on wheat. Does not that show that there is a change coming over the spirit of the dream that they have remained under so long in England ?

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An hon. MEMBER.

It is only a rumour.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROUDE.

It is only a rumour, but I take it that the correspondent of the Globe newspaper, if it were only an idle rumour, would not consider it worth his while to send it. He sends this as an important item of news as forecasting what is likely to occur, to the Globe newspaper. I believe that if we join with the Australian colonies and with the other colonies of the empire in an agitation, we will be successful. I feel as surely convinced as I am standing here addressing this House tonight that it will come in the near future. We may sit here until doomsday ; as long as hon. gentlemen do not ask it they will not get it. They say it is not our business, but it is the business of the empire. What does Scripture say ? ' Ask and ye shall receive.' Hon. gentlemen are not following out first principles. The hon. Minister of Customs may not have gone to Sunday school for a long time, nor the hon. Minister of Finance, and they may not recall this passage of Scripture.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Hon. gentlemen ask and do not receive. I am afraid they do not have the scriptural spirit.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

We have reasonable hopes that it will come if we try to get it, and we would have got it, I have no doubt, had our party remained in power. Hon. gentlemen say that it is only the concern of the empire. It is our concern as well as theirs, and, in proportion as we develop the outlying portions of the empire, we develop the empire itself ; we strengthen and consolidate the empire and strengthen the loyalty of the colonies to the empire. It has been said here that the two principles of protection and mutual preference trade are antagonistic to each other. Not by any means. Cannot we put one duty on goods coming from the United States and another duty on goods coming from Great Britain? Cannot we give England a preference over the United States, and still have a duty on English goods and protect our manufacturers here ? All that is required is to adopt the principle of a maximum and minimum tariff which is being adopted by many countries in the world to-day, which desire to protect their own trade. They are not antagonistic, they are compatible and they are obtainable. I would remind hon. gentlemen that the world moves, that nations change their policy, that England has changed very much in her feelings during the last few years, and is likely to change more in future. What would it mean to the Canadian farmer if we got mutual preferential trade ? I shall take a few items from the report of the hon. Minister of Agriculture. If we had 5 per cent on the wheat that we send to England let us see what the result would be as compared with the wheat of the United States farmers. The farmers of Canada would have, on the basis of their exports this year, more than the American farmers, assuming that they exported the same amount, $599,774. They would have that much more than the American farmer because of the advantage which the 5 per cent preference would give them. That must be of some advantage to the Canadian farmer. It does not necessarily follow that because that duty would be on the Yankee wheat it would raise the price of breadstuffs in Great Britain. Suppose there was a 5 per cent duty on pork, and bacon ; if the Canadian farmer sent the same amount of pork that he sent last year and the American farmer sent over the same quantity of pork, the Canadian farmer would have $640,151 more for his pork than the American farmer would receive. Would that not be of advantage to the Canadian farmer ? Then, I take cheese ; if the Canadian farmer had 5 per cent preference on his cheese, and if the American farmer sent the same amount as the Canadian farmer did last year, the Canadian farmer would have $992,810 over the American farmer. Then I take butter ; if the Americans sent to Great Britain the same quantity as the Canadian farmer sent, the Canadian farmer would have upon that butter $256,107 more than the American farmer would have.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

And more than the Canadian farmer had this year ?

2159 COMMONS 2160

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

More than the Canadian farmer would have this year on the same quantity.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Would it give the Canadian farmer an increased price ?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

It would give the Canadian farmer that much of an increased price over the American farmer.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Then, it would give the Canadian farmer an increased price ?

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

If we had that we would not have Canadians going to the United States to engage in farming, but, that movement would be reversed if by engaging in farming in Canada they could get 5 per cent more than the farmers pursuing their calling in the United States.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICUTURE.

Do they go there now. My hon. friend is not aware that our butter sells in England for a good deal higher price than American butter.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

But it would sell for 5 per cent more.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Then, somebody must pay it.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

It would be one of the most valuable aids to the immigration policy of the hon. gentlemen, who have 273 immigration agents, most of them in the United States, trying to persuade people to come to Canada.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   MAECI-I 26,1901
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LIB

William Forsythe McCreary

Liberal

Mr. McCREARY.

There are more people coming in from the United States than there are going out. There are three special trains a week running from Calgary to Edmonton at the present time, carrying emigrants from Dakota, as I have official information to-night.

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Subtopic:   MAECI-I 26,1901
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March 26, 1901