March 20, 1902

CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

No sir.

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

It is preposterous to say no. These, in brief, are the reasons why I deprecate the enunciation of a policy by the hon. leader of the opposition adverse to reciprocity. There never has been a time since the reciprocity treaty of 1854 was negotiated and went into force that Canada was not anxious for trade relations with the United States of a broad and liberal character. We enjoyed these relations for twelve years and profited im-mensly by them. We have been anxious to secure them ever since that time. We have sent deputation after deputation to Washington but we have not been able to get them up to this time. I do not want to give up the race yet. If we cannot get them we simply would have to do without them and adopt another policy if there is no other alternative.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

Why did you not get them in 1898 when you were over there ?

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

Well, we came very near getting a good treaty. I cannot tell the hon. gentleman (Mr.Clarke) what the details are, but, he would probably have been highly satisfied if it had not been for a little trouble that intervened between the trade treaty and something else. The condition of trade between these two countries at the present time warrants us in saying to the United States : Give us reciprocity in natural products. Not that we will promise you any mitigation of our tariff system. We will not agree to put a single article more on the free list. We will not agree to reduce our duties unless we choose to do so, we are entitled on the basis of the conditions as they exist to-day to reciprocity in natural products. If we can get it, it is all right; if we cannot, we cannot get what we are entitled to. If we can get it what would be the result ? Would it be worth while ? Some hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House will say no, I presume. I cannot agree with that view of the case. If we could get reciprocity we would have free coal. We imported last year nearly 3,000,000 tons of bituminous coal for manufactures and railways and this paid a duty of fifty-three cents a ton. If we had reciprocity this coal would come in free and we would send to the United States, if their duty were removed, a much larger amount than we send now. We sent last year nearly $5,000,000 worth of coal to the American market ; we would vastly increase that business ; it would be a mutual advantage in the coal trade. If we had reciprocity in natural products we would have the competition of American buyers

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

here for the purchase of all the articles we sell for export. We would have that competition for wheat, for oatmeal, for flour, for cheese, for butter, for meats, for fish, and the competition thus created in the matter of wheat for instance, would be worth more to the producer In Canada than a five per cent preferential duty in England would be. It would have the effect of raising the price of wheat to a greater extent than five per cent preference, because it brings in active competition, and it would be impossible to create a ring to put the price down (as now is sometimes the case) below the level at which it should be. We would have an increased price for lumber to the extent of the duty we now pay. We would have a vast trade in quarry products. We have, all along the northern shore of our lakes, quarries of sand stone, quarries of free stone, quarries of granite, quarries of marble, and on the other side of the lake we have vast cities like Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, that would furnish a market for millions of dollars worth of these quarry products where we now do not sell a ton. AVe would have a great market for our mine products ; a market for millions of tons of iron ore, besides what we need to use ourselves. We would have an increased and better market for fish, and we would have a market for our farmer's products and all kinds of products in these great cities which have congregated in them many millions of people within easy reach of us. We would have a market in these cities at American prices whereas, now we have to sell, If we sell at all, less the exorbitant duties charged. AA'e would probably have free pulp and free paper in exchange possibly for free pulp wood. These are a few of the advantages that would accrue to Canada from reciprocal free trade in natural products.

Our trade with Great Britain has been built up by the adoption of business methods ; by cold storage, by pushing our trade intelligently, efficiently, energetically. The same course pursued with regard to the United States, if we had access to that market, would build up an enormous trade for us with that country and would add enormously to the wealth and prosperity of Canada.

My hon. friend, the leader of the opposition, tells us in his resolution that he is in favour of ' reciprocal trade preference within the empire.' AVliat does that mean ? What would literally ' reciprocal trade preference ' be between Canada and Great Britain. Great Britain admits everything we send there free of duty, manufactures, natural products, anything and everything. A reciprocal preference for us would be to admit free everything coming here from England. Is that what is meant by the resolution ? Of course that is a policy that would be highly satisfactory to England,

but would It be satisfactory to Canada ? That Is literally a reciprocal trade preference between the two countries. You cannot have It. We never can have It. What does the leader of the opposition mean V Does he mean that England Is to readopt the corn laws ?

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CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

Yes.

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

Well, I hope that Is correct. I would not object to see the corn laws readopted and preferential duties Imposed on wheat and lumber In favour of the colonies. But does any man here suppose that England is going to do that-that Is to the extent of affording us any tangible advantage. Five per cent would be a mere bagatelle, a bauble. Ten per cent might be of some little advantage in wheat and lumber, but anything less than ten per cent would not be worth consideration.

Now, if my right hon. friend the leader of this government and those associated with him, when they visit London, can secure from Great Britain a concession of a tangible character that will give us a preference in the British market for our wheat, for our cheese, for our lumber, for the various products we send to that country ; then we will stand the 33J per cent preference and we will have then to face new conditions that will require a revision of our policy, or that at all events will require careful consideration. But I think perhaps we will have to wait until we see what success is scored by our representatives in this matter before we build very much expectations on the result of that conference.

Then as a corollary and necessary adjunct to this policy of reciprocity in preference, within the empire comes the question of Imperial defence. There is a great deal said about Imperial defence. A great many men are so ardent in their Imperial predilections that they want to see some kind of a legislative or defensive union existing between Great Britain and her colonies ; some central authority that will designate what we shall pay and what we shall do. Now, Mr. Speaker, I believe Canada should preserve absolute autonomy.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

I have not the slightest doubt of that. The union between this country and Great Britain is a union of sentiment. The aid we have given to Great Britain in her emergency has been voluntarily rendered. Sir, while we are ready to make sacrifices ; while we cherish the feelings we do towards the mother country, we can never allow the mother country, we can never allow anybody else to say how much we must do. It must rest upon the voluntary decision of ourselves as to what we will do, and nobody else must be in a position to say what we shall do.

We will make great sacrifices to preserve the empire. We realize the importance of 49i

this Imperial connection. We realize the importance of the English market that takes 82 per cent of our agricultural products. We realize that fully. We cannot afford to let Great Britain be blotted out. Why, Sir, if it comes to a question of life and death, Canada would give her last man and her ' last dollar to avert that calamity ; but we cannot put ourselves in a position in which we will be deprived of the initiative in deciding what we shall do.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

We could discuss it

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

We have already made sacrifices ; sacrifices of greater consequence than is generally imagined, for Imperial purposes. The Canadian Pacific Railway is really an Imperial road. Every dollar expended in that road is a dollar of expenditure that accrues to the advantage of the British empire. That is a military road ; a military avenue of the greatest importance to England. If the time ever comes when the question arises as to whether this country shall be blotted out or not; if that ti me ever comes we have got to do the business of defending ourselves, to a large extent. That emergency will never confront us in any supposable event except in the case of war with the United States ; and in case of war with the United States is it to be supposed that Canada would make smaller sacrifices, would make less exertions than England would. Why, Sir, we would have to put forth superhuman exertions. The brunt would fall upon us. I repeat that Canada never needs to put herself in a position where she would lose her autonomy.

We have the resources for a great nation ; we will become a great nation. It should be our object to make this a nation that will be an example to the world-a nation possessing the best institutions and the best laws, and the freest population. We have a territory that gives us room for 100,000,000 people. We do not want to play second fiddle to any one. We do not want to be put into the position of a fifth wheel to any other combination or to any other nation. So much for these questions of reciprocal conditions within the empire ; of reciprocity with the United States upon reasonable and favourable conditions, and of Imperial defence.

Now, it has been said, Mr. Speaker, that really this great import trade from the United States is a trade that we cannot dispense with ; that although it is very large yet all these imports are indispensable to us; that we take them from the United States because we have to have them, and chat there is no help for us. They may take more or they may take less from us, but we must take from them all that we now import. Now, our total free imports from the United States amount to $56,000,000, or eliminating coin and bullion, $53,549,000. On this free list the articles that

are indispensible which we import from the United States include the following

Raw cotton $4,731,812

Tobacco leaf 1,720,589

Wool 389,289

Hides and skins 2,432,297

Anthracite coal 7,923,950

Coke 679,915

Hardwood and manufactures of-axe handles, spokes, felloes, &c.. .. 1,500,000 Miscellaneous articles.. .. 2,000,000

Total $21,386,852

Thus there are $21,386,000 worth of indispensable articles which we import from the United States out of the free list of $53,500,000; and on that free list there are the following articles which we can dispense with :

Indian corn $6,484,181

Flax seed 662,696

Miscellaneous articles .. .. 1,000,000 Free manufactures 18,000,000

Total $36,146,877

This leaves $6,000,000 of the imports on the free list unclassified. Possibly one-half of these we could dispense with also.

Now, Sir, we import from the United States $65,000,000 worth of manufactures, of which $22,000,000 are free of duty. We can produce in this country at least $40,000,000 worth of that list. We can shut off the imports of Indian corn, flax seed, meats, and a lot of other things in the food line. If we adopt a policy towards the United States as stringent as theirs is towards us, we can reduce our imports from the United States from $50,000,000 to $55,000,000, and bring down our list of imports to the lean and beggarly dimensions of our list of exports. Now, Sir, we do not desire to do this. We would rather increase our exports to the United States by $55,000,000. That is what we want to do. This diminishing of our imports is a heroic remedy which we may adopt if we can do no better; but we want to do better if we can, and the terms of my resolution submitted on the 24th of February, are directly along that line. It proposes to give to the United States the same status in our markets that England enjoys, if they give us the same treatment that England does, that is, the free admission of our natural products. It proposes to give to the United States the dis- ! ability of forty or fifty per cent more taxes than Great Britain would pay, if they do not give us the same treatment. It is a plain and simple remedy. We are not called upon to impose it just now; but we may as well talk this matter over. We may as well talk it over a little among ourselves; we may as well talk it over a little with the United States.

I thought it desirable to present these views wherever I have had an opportunity.

I have done it at various places in the Mr. CHARLTON.

United States before influential audiences, and I have never done it without producing a marked effect. I have never done it without having had the assurance given to me that this question had not been understood, that my views were correct, and that the United States ought to do exactly what I suggested-give us free trade in natural products, and if they did not do that, they would have no reason to complain if the very policy which I have foreshadowed were adopted.

We want to continue these missionary efforts in the United States; and if the American people come to understand the case, they will take a different position from what they have taken in ignorance of actual conditions. They have been led to suppose that the United States market was essential to Canada-that we lived and moved and breathed in their favour, and could take no line without them. We want them to understand that while the United States take 8 per cent of our exports, England takes 82 per cent; we want to let them know that we can get along without them as well as with them ; and if we take pains to present these views to the American people, we shall have a state of sentiment created in that country that will be favourable to a settlement of our trade relations on a basis that will be reasonable.

For these reasons I have not lost hope that the Joint High Commission has not yet exhausted its efforts or ceased its career of usefulness. I am in a position to say that it has had a career of usefulness. I cannot of course disclose to the public what was done. But I am anxious to see that Joint High Commission meet once more. I am anxious to ascertain, as a result of that meeting, whether these questions can be satisfactorily adjusted or not. When we have definitely ascertained one way or the other, we shall know what course we ought to pursue; and if we cannot get fair-play, we can at least place ourselves in a position where we shall not merit and receive the contempt of the American people.

These views and arguments are submitted simply for consideration. As I said before, while I would have been pleased to see the government make some concessions to satisfy the demands of the aggrieved industries of this country, in two or three cases at least, yet I understand how difficult and dangerous a task it is to re-open a tariff. And so I accept the situation. But I have placed my views before the House, and I will leave my statements and arguments to have such weight as they may have with the members of the government, and when the time comes, after the conference has met, when we shall know more definitely than we do now, where we stand, then the government will take its course and decide on its line of conduct, and every member of this House can take his

course and decide whether he can support the line adopted by the government or not.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. W. C. EDWARDS (Russell).

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat, in the introduction of his remarks, referred to the position of affairs prior to the time that Mr. Alexander Mackenzie went out of power in this country. He makes the statement that a request was made on1 the part of certain followers of Mr. Mackenzie to advance the customs duties 24 per cent. He states that Mr. Mackenzie meant to accede to that request, but that because of certain representations made to him by members from the lower provinces, he abandoned that intention, and as a consequence a protective system was advocated by Sir John Macdonald, and in the election which ensued Mr. Alexander Mackenzie was defeated and Sir John Macdonald triumphantly elected. He attributes that defeat entirely to the fact that Sir John Macdonald had adopted protection as his policy, and that Mr. Alexander Mackenzie had adhered to his former views in favour of a low revenue tariff. He deprecates the action of Mr. Alexander Mackenzie at that time, not because of the principle involved, but because he was defeated at the polls as a consequence of his action. Now, Mr. Speaker, I regret to hear the statement the hon. gentleman has made, because I am one of those who believe, as I always have believed, if that was the cause of the defeat, that Alexander Mackenzie accepted defeat rather than give way for one moment on the principle which he held to be in the best interest of the Canadian people.

The hon. gentleman tells us that he advised the late Hon. Alexander Mackenzie that he would be defeated if he did not accept the hon. gentleman's views on the tariff question. Well, Mr. Speaker, what value can we place on the opinions of the hon. gentleman, what reliance can we put in his professions, what credit can we give him for political honesty, when we follow his subsequent record ? Since the day when he tells us he gave Mr. Mackenzie that advice, he has been in turn, according as the wind suited, a free trader, a commercial union man, an advocate of reciprocity, and to-day we find him blooming forth again in all the colours of a most pronounced protectionist. There is one quality for which we must give the hon. gentleman credit, and that is that whatever role he assumes, he plays with all the apparent sincerity of a consummate actor. In each particular phase, no matter what may be the particular policy he advocates at the moment, no matter how it may differ from views he held on any previous occasion, he addresses the House and seeks to impress on the government his momentary convictions with all the gravity and seriousness of a Nestor, and so to-day we find him exhorting the government in his usual fashion and threatening that if they do not accept his advice and adopt his views on protection, defeat stares them in the face at the next election. It would be interesting to have the hon. gentleman explain how it was that, in spite of his arguments against protection in the campaign of 1896, the protectionist government of that day met so crushing a defeat at the polls.

Referring again to the defeat of Mr. Mackenzie in 1878, the hon. gentleman went on to explain that while Sir John Macdonald on being returned to office, did adopt a protectionist tariff, it was but a moderate one- not half so high as that of the United States, and then proceeded to argue that if the United States have enjoyed very great prosperity, it is due to their high protection. And, he added, the conditions in that country are to-day such that protection is there no longer needed. In Canada, however, it is desirable that we should adopt as high a tariff as the Americans, and the adoption of such high protection, the hon. gentleman claimed, would be productive of equal prosperity. I dissent entirely from those views. My hon. friend, as he has very clearly shown the House to-night, is now a protectionist to the hilt. Well, Mr. Speaker, I am a free trader to the hilt. As such, I dissent entirely from the hon. gentleman's view on the question of the balance of trade. I deny that because the balance of trade is in favour of the United States, that it is any evidence of the prosperity of that country. That, in fact, is the only argument which the hon. gentleman used to show that the United States were enjoying a great measure of prosperity in consequence of high protection. If that argument be well founded, how is it that the balance of trade has been so enormously against Great Britain ever since the days of the introduction of the Corn laws? And no one will deny the great progress in manufactures, trade and commerce-a progress which has not been paralleled in any other country in the world-which has taken place in Great Britain since she adopted the policy of free trade. I take the contrary view to that taken by my hon. friend. I say that if the United States had made all the development and progress, which it should have made, the balance of trade would have been against it. In a new country like the United States, into which a large influx of population was yearly flowing, the balance of trade should have been against it, and the fact that it was not, is proof that the United States was not making the development and progress it should have made.

The hon. gentleman went on to point out that it is only in recent years that the United States had exported largely of manufactured goods. Every one who knows the condition of the country knows that to be true. Until very recently the United States paid for all its foreign purchases in agricultural products. And I ask how it

Is possible tliat the agriculturists of the United States could show their best results when they were taxed so largely and unduly in favour of the home manufacturers. While it is possible to protect the manufacturers, it is perfectly impossible to protect the agriculturists of a country like the United States, and equally impossible to protect the agriculturists of Canada. The conditions in Canada to-day are very similar to those in the United States. It is only within the past few years that we have begun to export in any degree manufactured goods. Our exports have been the products of the farm, fisheries, the forest, and the mines; and I ask you how are you going to enrich the farmers, the fishermen, the lumbermen, the miners, of Canada, by taxing them for the benefit of our manufacturers ? Their products have to be sold in the markets of the world in competition with the products of the world; and if our farmers, fishermen, lumbermen and miners, are to make their best development and progress, they must be permitted to buy in the same way as they have to sell. They must be permitted to enjoy in their favour the same free competition that they have to fight against. Holding these views, I cannot agree with my hon. friend in the hope he expresses that after the London conference this government will raise the tariff. On the contrary, I, as a free trader, will not be able to support any government which raises the tariff any higher, as against the interests of the great producing and consuming masses of Canada. Let the

agriculturists, the great producers of the wealth of Canada, have a chance to exist. Give them a chance to enjoy the results of their own labour. Give the

producer of the natural wealth of Canada that position, and I am not afraid for the position of the manufacturers of Canada. I think I heard one of the speakers say this afternoon that certain factories in Canada that had very high protection were yet idle, and he thought that was a reason why the government, for the purpose of having these industries here, should raise the duties and give still tether protection. I think the best reason that could be given why these factories should not be in Canada, at any rate to the extent to which they are developed, is the fact that they are not able to live under the high protection that they have to-day.

My hon. friend (Mr. Charlton) next came to the preference given to England, and stated that he was opposed to it, or, at least, did not particularly favour it. I am much surprised to hear a protectionist talk in that way, though such ideas would seem quite natural when expressed by a free trader like myself. I never was imbued with the idea of that preference, nor am I now. I think it is wrong in principle. In matters of trade, I am perfectly willing to buy from even the Chinese or the Japanese or Mr. EDWARDS.

from any other people who will sell to me the cheapest. No greater mistake has ever been made than to imagine for a moment that it is against the interest of Canada to buy the cheap productions of another country. What does such buying mean ? It simply means that for the labour of Canada we are receiving a larger return than we otherwise would receive. Some hon. gentlemen who have spoken seem to be imbued with the idea that every country should be protected ^against "every other country. What would that mean ? It would simply mean the limiting of commerce. And, if the limiting of commerce is what is wanted, It would be as wise to protect individuals in a country against one another as to protect nations against one another, and that shows that the proposition is absolutely absurd-there is no common sense in it. The hon. member for North Norfolk spoke of the great prosperity that the United States enjoys. It is true that the United States has been prosperous. It is true also that the United States has had a protective tariff and has to-day. But it is also true that the United States has enjoyed a great measure of free trade, because the great north, the great south, the great east and the great west of the United States have been free to trade with one another. I would like to ask one question of those who think that the proposition of protection is a sound one. Suppose you move the boundary northward and take in the whole of Canada as part of the United States, would Canada enjoy greater prosperity in commercial matters ? Every person would answer that question in the affirmative. There can be no doubt about it whatever. Then, what common sense can there be, as a matter of commerce, in placing these barriers to commerce between the two countries ? There is no common sense in it at all. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Charlton) also advises that England should adopt the protective system. Well, I want to ask what, under the sun, England would do under such a condition as that? The hon. gentleman said that Germany, France and the United States were invading the English markets and that, therefore, protection should obtain in England, and let England trade with herself. This is in line with the idea of protection, which is simply that each country should confine itself to itself in trade. England would indeed be a great country under such conditions. I am surprised that any hon. gentleman who knows anything of commerce should support such a proposition. It is utterly childish. England would be absolutely ruined under such conditions. The hon. gentleman next came to the matter of our trade with the United States, our large purchases from that country and our small sales to that country. But he further stated what a splendid condition of

affairs existed in our trade with England, because we were now exporting largely to that country, but, that notwithstanding the preference, we were not buying so largely from that country. Is it not natural that the country to which you export the larger portion of your goods should be the one from which you would buy what you require? That would be a much more natural proposition in our case than that we should send the goods to England, and that England should send the balance, if there be a balance, to the United States in liquidation of our trade balance due that country. Why does this condition exist between Canada and England ? I deny absolutely that it is because of the preferential tariff, but hold that it is simply because, being adjacent to the United States, bordering for hundreds and thousands of miles upon that country, our trade necessarily is greater With the United States than with a country more distant. Moreover, the goods manufactured in the United States are, very largely, the goods we require. Take for instance, in agricultural implements, which we buy very largely from the United States. Why are American agricultural implements bought in the western portion of Canada where implements are not manufactured ? Why, what would the protectionist want ? He would want the farmer of the Northwest to send his grain to the markets of the world and then buy what he required in the east to be transported to the west, instead of buying across the border which is the most natural thing to do.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROUUE.

If the bon. gentleman (Mr. Edwards) will allow me, I would like to ask him a question. Is he not aware that a large number of agricultural implements manufactured in the United States are brought into Ontario, although agricultural implements are manufactured in this province ?

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

If large quantities of agricultural implements are being brought into Ontario from the United States, as I believe they are, all the more disgrace to the manufacturers of agricultural implements in Ontario. There could not be a better argument against their existence than that they are not able to compete with the American manufacturers, even with the protection that they have. Now, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Charlton) further says that he is opposed to reciprocity within the empire as suggested by the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition. It seems strange to me as a free trader that a protectionist should agree with me on that point. I also am opposed absolutely to any such proposition. While I am loyal to Great Britain in every way, while I am most desirous that the greatest glory and the greatest prosperity should attend the empire, I believe that every producer in Canada should be a free man and should be allowed to exercise his rights to sell

where he pleases and to buy where it suits him.

What is commerce ? Commerce is an interchange of the surplus products of labour, and when you attack commerce you attack labour, yes, and when you attack commerce you attack the labouring man. The proposition, Mr. Speaker, that you can protect the labouring man is the greatest absurdity that ever was spoken. You can no more protect the labouring man than you can protect the farmer. You cannot protect the farmer of this country. Any man who pretends for a moment that he can protect the farmer of Canada knows nothing about the proposition. Any man who says he can protect the labourer in any country of the world knows nothing about the proposition. It is absolutely impossible to protect labour. Now I ask you, Mr. Speaker, if labour can be protected, why did not the United States, that great protectionist country, protect the labourer from 1873 to 1879 ? Taking the period from 1893 to 1898, I ask you why they did not protect labour in that great protectionist country ? Labour fell to a lower point even during those years than it did in Canada. I ask you why protection, in that great protectionist country, did not maintain continuously the good times that its friends claimed it would do ? Simply because under protection it is impossible for good times to be maintained. Under free trade conditions the labourer receives, and always will receive, the greatest reward for his labour. Protection simply means robbery of the labouring man, protection simply means robbery of the farmer, and of every man in Canada who is producing its natural resources. Protection in my estimation is nothing more or less than legalized robbery. Holding these views as strongly as I do, notwithstanding the statement of the hon. gentleman who spoke before me that he could change his views but I was not progressive enough to do so-I never will be progressive enough to join a band of robbers.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I want to ask the hon. gentleman one question. When he says that labour always fares best in a free trade country, why is it that labouring men come from England, the only free trade country in the world to Canada and the United States, which are protectionist countries, and do better here V

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Germany is one of the highest protective countries in the world, England is free trade. In England the labourer receives 70 per cent more than he does in Germany. Will the hon. gentleman explain that ? Mr. Speaker, that is the effect of protection upon labour. Why do we have depressions in commerce V We have depressions in commerce, and have them periodically, simply because, during those times which are called prosperous times, too many men are diverted from their proper

channels of industry and go into the business of interchanging commodities, too many men go into trade and too few are engaged in producing the wealth of the world, and as a consequence we have depressions. We also observe that the most severe depressions always occur in protective countries, and they are always least in free trade countries ; and as a consequence the labourer always enjoys, always will enjoy, and always must enjoy the best results in free trade countries.

Now, the hon. gentleman still clings to the idea that reciprocity with the United States is an absolute necessity to the well being of Canada. So far as I am concerned I deny that proposition absolutely. It is highly desirable that we should have the freest possible trade with the United States, but it is not essential to our existence. If they are determined to pursue the silly course which they have pursued for so many years, why let them do so. The hon. gentleman believes in reciprocity. While I would be glad to see free trade, while I would be glad to see the United States, in the best interests of the people of that country and in the best interests of mankind, living under free trade conditions, at the same time 1 believe that if they are not wise enough to adopt that policy, why should we, Mr. Speaker, adopt so foolish, so suicidal a policy as to punish Canadians severely because the people of the United States choose to punish themselves. In the United States every producer of the natural resources of the country is a slave. A slave to whom ? A slave to relatively a few manufacturers in that country. Do we desire that Canadians should be placed in the same position? Not at all. What are we doing to-day V These men who advocate protection in Canada pretend that a great danger is threatening us from the United States because of the monopolies that exist there, they fear these monopolies are going to crush us in Canada. Sir, how have these monopolies been built up ? They have been built up under the accursed system of protection, and that is why they exist in the United States. We are told that manufacturers in the United States sell cheaper to Canadians than they sell to their own people. Well. Sir, does it hurt the Canadian farmer, does it hurt the Canadian labourer, does it hurt anybody in Canada except a few protected manufacturers, if they do sell cheap goods to Canadians V It is a great benefit to the Canadian people, and we should be very foolish indeed if we did not allow them to sell us goods cheaper than they sell to their own people.

I believe that our duty Is to legislate for the Canadian people without any regard to what the American people or any other people may do. I believe In legislating absolutely for Canada alone. I care not what other people do so far as their tariffs are concerned. I do care, of course, in a way, Mr. ED WAR OB.

for the people who are suffering from monopolies ; but having regard to the best interests of the people of Canada I never can support, and never will support, a condition of things which will levy a greater embargo upon the producers of wealth in Canada than is imposed to-day. Perhaps some gentleman will say : Why do you support 1 he conditions that exist to-day ? Well, Mr. Speaker, for years the Conservatives have been building up this system of iniquity in Canada. I understand something of commerce, and something of the effects that would attend the removal of such an embargo too hurriedly. I believe in reducing the tariff slowly'. Free trader as I am, I am perfectly satisfied with the government as far as they have gone; but I say this, I cannot support you unless you go further. As time goes on you must go further, or I cannot support you. .

Now what are the conditions in the United States ? These monopolies have been built up so that there is to-day a tremendous centralization of wealth in the hands of a few people. Things have got to such a pass that I believe capital is going to be entirely unsafe in the United States ; I believe that firmly. Some may say : What is the difference ? Money is circulated anyway. These monopolists may be worth their hundreds of millions, but the people have the use of the money. Well, that is all very fine. The millionaire lives in luxury. Yes,

many of them go to England and live in luxury. How do they do it V They live in luxury on the millions stolen from the labourers of the United States. 1 am absolutely opposed to the condition which brings about any such result. I believe each labourer should enjoy the benefits of his own labour. While I believe the employer should have his just share, I believe, at the same time, that the labourer should have his just share. This is one of the greatest propositions that stares us in the face to-day. The greatest question that we have before us in the world is this question of capital and labour. The conditions in the United States, perhaps over any other country in the world, are such that these enormous fortunes have been amassed through the protective system, and I believe they will bring about a state of things that will prove very dangerous to that country. We do not want any such conditions in Canada. What have we in Canada ? We have, to-day, gentlemen who are giving very large sums to different institutions and they are looked upon as great philanthropists. They are nothing of the kind. They are simply giving back to the people a portion of the money, which through legislation, has been stolen from the people. That is all they have been doing. Now, Mr. Speaker, while I am a free trader, there is one thing I am willing to admit. I am willing to admit that free trade does not obtain in England because

of any philanthropic motives. Free trade obtains in England from selfish motives. It was the selfish motives of the manufacturers of England which really brought about free trade in that country. That, I am perfectly willing to admit, but, I also believe that a very selfish motive has been the means of maintaining protection in the United States up to the present time. What are the conditions in the United States so far as this very question is concerned ? The manufacturers have been in favour of protection and the farmers have been opposed to it. I foresee a change coming. Perhaps I do not go to certain portions of that country doing missionary work and making speeches, but I come in contact with perhaps as many business men as my hon. friend who sits beside me (Mr. Charlton), and I observe that a very great change is coming over the aspect of things in that country, and that it is drifting rapidly towards free trade. The change in that respect in the United States is enormous-and why ? The selfish interest again is going to prevail. The people of the United States are manufacturing more than is required in that country, they have to seek foreign markets, and the moment they have to seek foreign markets, they become free traders, because in competition with the other nations of the world, they desire to produce in the cheapest possible way they can. If Canada does not look out, the United States, in a few years, will force her into free trade. To meet their duties, as iu the past, with retaliatory duties is, to my mind, a perfect absurdity, and to attempt, to-day, to levy high duties because they are doing it in the United States is, to me, a perfect absurdity. If there is any one way in which you can fight the United States with tariffs, it is by adopting a very low tariff in Canada. That would be a very great menace to the United States, but, pretending to fight them with a high tariff, is simply committing suicide so far as Canada is concerned. I shall not delay the House any longer upon this subject. I do not suppose, Mr. Speaker, that you will hear as many outspoken free trade speeches as I am disposed to make. I do not for one moment believe that the Liberal party has become insane. I believe nothing of the kind. I cannot believe it. I believe that the old views prevail just as they have prevailed for many years and, perhaps, it is quite possible that the government may go a little slower than I would like to have them go, but, as long as they are moving in the right direction and advocating free trade, as far as I am concerned, they will find me a loyal supporter. But, if I hear protection advocated by any member of the Liberal government, you can depend upon it, that my faith will be found to be weakening. I am absolutely unable to join in a proposition that I believe to be so immoral, that leads to such a great wrong on the labouring men, the producers of the natural wealth of the country. It would be perfectly impossible for me to do it. Mr. Speaker, if ever I am going to be a thief, I will be a noble thief. I will join a band of highway robbers, I will put a pistol to a man's face and tell him to deliver up, but, I can never be a protectionist sneak thief.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.
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IND

Jabel Robinson

Independent

Mr. JABEL ROBINSON (West Elgin).

Mr. Speaker, one would imagine from the tenor of the speech of the hon. gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. Edwards) that he is thoroughly convinced, that the faith is in him, and that he never could believe anything but what he has told us to-night. He could not be changed; it is no use attempting to change him. He is thoroughly convicted, and it would not matter if the premier of this country and if all the Liberals of this country were to attempt to show him that he was wrong, he would still maintain that he was right. I have my opinion of a man who thinks he knows it all. I think I ought to be the proudest man in this House to-night. It is something over fourteen years ago since I had the pleasure of presiding, as president of the Farmers Institute in my county, at a farmers' meeting. The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) was invited to address those farmers. The hon. gentleman lives in the adjoining county, and he came to our meeting. He gave us a very different dissertation from that which he gave us this evening. He was then a strong advocate of commercial union and unrestricted reciprocity. I was voted out of the chair on that occasion for the purpose of answering our friend from Norfolk. I had an opportunity of speaking, I think, for about my usual time of speaking, and it took the' hon. gentleman half an hour to answer the points I produced against him. lie was then strongly in favour of commercial union with the United States, and he showed us, at least he attempted to show us. the great advantages as farmers that we would derive by selling our produce in the American market. He illustrated his case that evening in a very striking manner. He said he wanted the Brffalo market, which was the nearest city to him, so that he could take his cattle there. The hon. gentleman raises cattle, and he stated that he had sent a drove of his cattle to the Buffalo market, but owing to the difficulty of getting them to that market they only returned him $30 each. I replied that the hon. gentleman either did not have the right kind of cattle, or else he did not take them to the right market, for I had just returned from Great Britain where I sold cattle of the same age in the Glasgow market for 21 pounds each. You see it makes a difference as to the market. Now, Mr. Speaker, when some gentlemen

clamour so mucli for the American market, it seems to me that they do not know what they are talking about. If we had not the British market then we might clamour for the American market for our natural products, but so long as the British market is free to us we can always get a first class price for a first class article, and we can always have there the best market in the world. Britain is the best market for our natural products, and it seems to me that it is only fair that we should purchase all we want to import in the British market. I believe that the vessels that take away our cattle, and, our cheese, and our butter, and our farm products of all kinds to England, should return laden with goods to Canada which the people of this country had bought in Great Britain. That is only fair play. I, for one, am not at all anxious for that great High Joint Commission to go back begging to Washington for reciprocity in natural products, especially when we have such a grand market open to us in the mother country. I heard a lot of talk here about the German market and other foreign markets, but what are these markets to us when we have the best market in the world open to us all the time in England ? I am not in favour of the amendment which has been moved by the leader of the opposition, because it asks for high protection, but I would have supported a motion which censured the government for spending the enormous amount of money they do spend every year. There is no such resolution before us, unless my own will fill the Bill. I would propose the following as an amendment :

That in the opinion of this House the increased expenditure that is taking place from year to year is uncalled for and unwarranted and contrary to the professions of the Liberal party, because in accordance with 'hese professions the expenditure of this country should not exceed the income. We believe' that the time has arrived when the interests of the farmer should he considered, especially in view of the fact that government cannot protect to any great extent the productions of the farmer; and as a moderate step in such a direction, be it resolved the duty on agricultural implements shall be reduced to 15 per cent and the duty on coal oil shall be reduced to two cents per gallon. '

I do not know if I will get a seconder for that or not. I do not think there are many independent men in the House. They all seem to be obliged either to vote for the government or to follow the leader of the opposition, but I am no servile follower. I suggest that motion because these are my sentiments, and I think that we are here as members of parliament, or we ought to be here to express our views as to what we think should be in the best interest of the country. It seems to be the object of this great House of Commons that when a resolution is brought in by one side, the other side must oppose it whether there is Mr. ROBINSON (West Elgin).

merit in that resoluton or not. That being the case, and the members being apparently bound to one party or the other, I expect that my resolution will not receive much favour here. I am thankful, Mr. Speaker, for one thing, and that is that however we have discussed questions during this session we have had no racial or religious cry mentioned. I am thankful for that. We have the right to come and discuss here all questions affecting the welfare of the country, and I am glad that no bitter feeling has been exhibited this session as has been the case at other times. I do not profess, like the member for Russell (Mr. Edwards) to know it all. I am ready to be converted to anything that is better than I believe. The hon. member for Russell (Mr. Edwards) is not as the hon. member for Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) who like the man who once attended a revival meeting, went to scoff, but remained to pray. I would not wonder if the hon. member for Russell would find himself in the same box sometimes.

Let me ask : How are the farmers going to be benefited by a high protective duty ? If there is any gentleman in this House who can show me that, then as a representative of the farmers I will gladly fall in with his view. If it can be shown that the placing of a high protective duty on articles manufactured in this country will help the farmers, then I am ready to submit. But, I have never yet been convinced that the farmer who is obliged to sell his surplus products in the open market can in any way be protected by whatever duty a government may impose.

One hon. gentleman has said that the great evil we were suffering from were the American products which were coming in free of duty or at very low rates of duty. One hon. gentleman stated this afternoon that whilst the Americans imposed a duty of twenty-five per cent against our wheat we have only a duty of twelve and a half per cent against their wheat. Well, I would like to know what would be the difference if we increased the duty. We send no wheat to the American market when wheat is dearer in Buffalo and Chicago than it is in Toronto and Montreal. Then, we want men who have capital to come in and erect mills on our streams which have water powers, in order to grind up all the wheat they can get, whether it comes from Canada or the United States. There is no argument in that. The conditions are the same with regard to any product which the Americans have and which we have not. We are only doing ourselves an injury if we refuse to buy it when it will benefit us to get it. One hon. gentleman complained that we were allowing corn to come in free from the United States. If that hon. gentleman lived in the section I do and fed cattle, he would know that every year the farmers buy carloads of American corn

to fatten their cattle ; and besides the profit they made upon the corn in that way, they also derive a benefit because of the manure it furnishes for the fields. Therefore X say there is no argument in that. But when the American people refuse to trade with us on equal terms, then I would treat them just as X would my neighbour if he refused to trade with me or have anything to do with me. I would try to do my business with some one else. That is just the way I feel like dealing with the American people.

I think we should consult our own interests in framing a tariff against them. Our government ought to know that, and if they do not, let us put in a government that does.

Now, I do not know that it is rfecessary for me to talk much about my resolution. It speaks for itself. The infant industries of our country should be protected. Infant industries are something like a man's family. He has a lot of boys and girls, and lie must raise them and raise them well; but after he has raised them, then he is doing them and himself an injustice if he does not allow them to work for themselves. That is just what we are doing with many of the manufacturers of this country. We are just keeping them up, giving them the benefit of a higher tariff and enabling them to get rich, whilst the poor men who work for them are getting but a dole for their wages. I happened to be in Ohio a few years ago, and dined with the governor of that state. I am not saying this to boast; I am merely stating the truth. He spoke of the immense amount of good he was doing in the state by building asylums and almshouses at different places. I said, ' governor, I think I can give you a better idea than that.' He said he would like to get it. I said, ' just take two or three dollars off every one of those machines next summer, and give the money to the farmers who are working for you.' It is from the farmers that the money is taken to build poor-houses and churches. ,It has been said in this debate that the Americans are growing immensely rich because of their high duties. I grant that some Americans are growing rich, but it is only those who have the inside track. The poor people of that country, especially the farmers, are not as well off as our own people. Some of these gentlemen are anxious to make a few people in Canada wealthy too. I am not. I want to see the wealth of the country fairly distributed among the people. I also want to see the taxes fairly collected, which they are not now under our present system of taxation. It seems that the system of customs and inland revenue duties is the only mode of collecting the taxes of this country ; but it is a very unjust method indeed. As I said a few days ago, a poor man, a labourer or a mechanic with a large family of eight or ten children, a man who is toiling and working every day to get sufficient to

maintain his family, has to buy dutiable goods to the amount of perhaps his total wages, while some men who are wealthy with an income of perhaps |8,000 or $10,000 a year, have only a wife and one child, or perhaps no children, or perhaps are not married, do not contribute as much as the poor man to the revenue of this country.

I say it is a very unfair and unjust system of taxation ; but it seems that that is the only way in which we can collect the money required to keep these gentlemen afloat. I am not casting any reflection upon them, because some gentlemen on this side of the House would like to be afloat too.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there are many things which the farmers and every one else in this country requires which we can neither make nor grow, and consequently we have to buy them somewhere. It would be foolish for us to attempt to grow some things or to attempt to manufacture some things. Most gentlemen here are fond of bananas, oranges, figs and similar delicacies. Suppose some gentleman on this side of the House were to ask the government to give him a grant for the purpose of enabling him to start a conservatory or hot-house to grow these things. Would the government be foolish enough to give him a grant for that purpose? No, because the bananas would cost ten cents apiece and the oranges the same. Therefore we had better let them grow them where they can do it to advantage and we will grow something else. It is the very same with manufacturers. There is a village near my place where for many years there was a manufacturer who made excellent threshing machines, but he had to draw his coal and iron and everything that went into these machines a number of miles, as there was no railway near. He was consequently handicapped and found himself obliged to move his establishment where there were more facilities for his business. That same rule applies everywhere. In Ontario we have no coal, and it is no use in our attempting to go into manufacturing in that province in competition with those who have the coal and the iron at their very door. By putting on protection to foster such competition, we are only bolstering up an artificial industry that costs us more than it gives. What we want is to make Canada a cheap country to live in. That should be our great object. Every year we are spending half a million dollars on immigration, but one of the first things an immigrant will want to know is what is the taxation here. And when the agent tells him that it is $50 a head for every man, woman and child, and that the debt of the country is $208,000,000, which must be paid by somebody, he is uot likely to have his imagination excited in favour of this country as a profitable one to settle in. Our Finance Minister has added to our debt $6,000,000 this year, and we do not know what he will do next. How is that debt to be met V

Surely we are not going to tax the unborn generations to pay it, but that is what we will have to do. It is about time that we should reduce our expenditure. We cannot expect every year the immense crops we have had these last two years, and the sooner we trim our sails to suit the wind the better.

I do not wish to go over what other hon. members have discussed, but I would like to make a reference to the question of the census, which seemed to have agitated the Minister of Trade and Commerce more than any other. I differ with that hon. gentleman in his opinion that the census was not properly taken ten years ago. I know that in our county the men who were employed to take it were above suspicion, and I am equally confident that those who were employed to take the last census were equally free from reproach. I should be sorry indeed to have it said elsewhere that Canadians were perjurers and liai-s, who could not be trusted to enumerate their own people. If such a charge should be proved, 1 will sell out as soon as I can and leave the country.

I suppose I will make enemies of every man in this House, save a few independents, by what I am going to say, but I can not refrain from giving my opinion. I find that there is quite a number of independent members in.the lobby and out in the streets of the city, but when they come here inside this Chamber-Oh dear ! Only two weeks ago I asked where were certain members from both sides of the House, and I was told that they were out in Lisgar, where there was a big election going on. It seems to me that men elected to do their duty in this House could be much better employed attending to their duties here than trying to crush a poor little independent out in Lisgar. But if it be true that so many men voted the independent ticket in Lisgar, it shows that if the independent men in this country would all vote together, as they did at Lisgar, we would have in the next parliament some sixty independents on this side of the House. I do not find any cheering on either side at this remark. Let me say in conclusion that I do trust that when men are elected to any duty, they will try to discharge it.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.
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CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. R. BROCK (Centre Toronto).

Before addressing myself, Mr. Speaker, to the particular questions before the House, 1 cannot refrain from paying a tribute of esteem to my hon. friend who has just preceded me. We must admit that he is the only independent member of this House, elected as such, who has the courage of his Independence. He was returned as an independent, and during the two sessions he has been in this House he has not in any way departed from that line of policy and is to-day still as independent as he was when he first canvassed his electors.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.
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IND

Jabel Robinson

Independent

Mr. ROBINSON (West Elgin).

I wish this afternoon to draw attention to some particular views which I hold, and which I believe are entertained to a considerable extent in this country, upon the budget which my hon. friend the Minister of Finance has presented to us with all that beauty of diction and force which marks the hon. gentleman's utterances in this House. But, Sir, I must say that I was considerably surprised by the conclusions at which the hon. minister arrived. He did not seem to appreciate the condition to which his management of the country's finances has led this country. Some five or six years ago, the present government came into power. It was elected just at the close of a very serious state of affairs which had existed in this country and the United States. There had been a very great depression in business, not only in agriculture but in manufacturing. This government immediately investigated the conditions of affairs and introduced a revision of the tariff. That was followed by very great prosperity. For the last five years we have enjoyed unexampled prosperity. We have had an immense increase in our imports and exports. We have, undoubtedly, accumulated a large amount of money in this country. But, I would like to ask the hon. gentleman where he has left the finances of the Dominion ? Have we been getting out of debt ? What have we been doing with these enormous sums of money that have been taken from the people, these hundreds of millions ? Every dollar has been expended, and yet, not only is our national debt greater, but we are very deeply in debt-several millions, I believe-to the banks. And the Finance Minister tells us that he is going to the financial centres of the world on a borrowing trip. That may not appear a very important matter practically, considering the tremendous revenues of this country. But if this were applied to private business, what would be thought of it ? Suppose that a man, after conducting a private business for five years, found himself during a period of hard times with 15,000 in debt. He gets relief from his creditors and permission to try again. Immediately, times improve and business grows better. He buys more goods and sells more goods and makes more money. And, at the end of another five years he comes to his creditors, who wish to have a stock-taking and says : Gentlemen, I am in a magnificent position, I have been doing a great business, I have been earning a great deal of money. I have been spending a great deal of money, it is very true. But I have assets, though I can't exactly lay my hands upon them.

I want you to understand that, instead of being $5,000 in debt I am now $10,000 in debt, and, over and above that I must go to the banks to borrow money to pay my current expenses. Would that be a very gratifying position for a private individual ? But the government will say : Oh, we have

15G1

great public works. So we have. We have the Intercolonial Railway. And the Intercolonial Railway has been a very serious* liability, instead of an asset. We have spent more money on it every year than we have received from it or are likely to receive from it. We have been enormously increasing our liabilities, even at a time when, as the Minister of Finance says, we have been riding upon the crest of a wave of prosperity. What would the wise merchant or financier do during prosperous times ? Would he not prepare himself for the lean years that are to come ? I do' not see any indication in the Public Ac-' counts of any reserve fund accumulated by the Finance Minister for times of less prosperity. And, when that hon. gentleman came to the question of relieving certain industries in this country, he told them that there was no relief to be expected from him or from the government. In saying that he was taking advantage of the position he occupied in this House with an enormous majority at his back to positively refuse a demand that is coming up now, as an hon. gentleman said this evening, from nearly three-quarters of the people of this country. He is supported by some hon. gentlemen who call themselves free traders to the hilt. I notice that while they call themselves free traders to the hilt, they, are, on every occasion, prepared to support by their votes, the government that is not a free trade government, but has repudiated free trade and has told us that free trade is impossible in this country. I think it was my hon. friend from West Elgin (Mr. Robinson) who spoke of a servile following. Nothing could be more servile than that. In matters of expenditure also, we are having some revelations before the Public Accounts committee which show that the money we have spent during the last five years has not all been spent judiciously, but that enormous sums have been squandered-

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.
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March 20, 1902