Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
And he makes a pitiful comparison between the position of Canada and that of the United States, based on that standpoint. But suppose we were to make a similar comparison at the present time, would not the Minister of Trade and Commerce think it was a perfectly fair one :
In 1845 the population of the United
States was (by estimate) 20,000,000
The taxes of the United States were. .$27,531,630
The total expenditure was 22,935,828
In 1900 the population of Canada was (so far as we can ascertain from the census) .... 5,340,000
The taxes of Canada were 538,743,550
The total expenditure was 57,982,8bb
I would ask my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce to take the figures I have read to him and go over the article which he wrote in 1889 and apply the same language to the state of affairs in Canada to-day, which he was good enough to apply to its condition ten years ago, and I am sure no stronger indictment can be made against the extravagance of this government.
It is remarkable that my hon. friend, in this article, attributed this scandalous and enormous increase of expenditure-during those eleven years-to what do you suppose ? To the fact that protection existed in Canada. But he tells us himself that in Canada protection does not exist to-day, so he has not that excuse. What then is the reason for the increase in four years of $15,000,000 in our total expenditure ? It cannot be on account of protection, because the Minister of Trade and Commerce tells us that there is no protection in the country and that we have merely a revenue tariff. To what cause must we attribute it ? Surely it cannot be due to the extravagance of this government, because having preached the doctrine of economy during so many years it is impossible to believe that these hon. gentlemen, now that they are at the head of affairs, are actuated by motives other than those of the most strict economy.
Let us look at the expenditure in another way. The per capita expenditure was a subject upon which the hon. gentleman was wont to be very eloquent in days gone by. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance says that our population remained stationery from 1890 to 1896. If he is correct, the figures which I am giving will show very much worse against the government. But I do not intend to take that position, because I do not think it would be a fair one. I intend to take the position-which I think is reasonable-that in 1896 the population of this country was about 5,070,000. In that year our expenditure was $41,702,383, and the per capita tax 8-22. In 1897 the population, as I estimate it, was 5,120,000, and our expenditure $42,972,756, and the per capita tax had increased to 8-39. Let me give a tabulated statement, made up from the Public Accounts :
Subtopic: S 42,272,130 40,853,728 43,009,234 42,872,338 41,702,383 210,708,819