Admitting that the price of coal in Nova Scotia is 50 cents or 31 too high, which company of all the companies in Nova Scotia to-day supplies the people and the government at the lowest rate ? Is it the Dominion Coal Company or the other concerns ?
Mountains or reached the Pacific Coast, except for the great enterprise displayed by the government of Sir John Macdonald and the men who built that railway. The Mackenzie government were building the railway across the prairie at the rate of 100 miles a year; but Sir John Macdonald grasped the whole question . He knew the millions of acres of fertile lands which were lying untilled in that great country, untrod by any creature but the buffalo and the Indian. He saw that that country would become the happy home of millions of people, and he brought about the building of that great railroad. The hon. member for Saskatchewan should be the last man in the country to compare the expenditure of those days with the expenditure of the present government, because he cannot point to a great public work which has been constructed by them during their tenure of office.
Then, what was done in connection with the Intercolonial Railway by the late government, those progressive gentlemen who were then carrying on the affairs of Canada. Those who had to travel over it had a good railway from Moncton to Riviere du Loup ; but from that point to Point Levis, a distance of 120 miles, we had to pass over a rickety railway owned by the Grand Trunk Railway. The late progressive government of Sir John Macdonald purchased that part of the Grand Trunk and made it a part of the Intercolonial Railway. We have that also to show for the expenditure of those days. Then, we have another great work connected with the great transportation system-that is, the Sault Ste Marie canal, which was built by the late government on Canadian soil, to avoid the necessity of Canadian ships having to pass through the American canal. In addition to that, they went on improving the canals of Canada and thus making it possible for the products of the west to reach a market by the best means possible.
The hon. member for Cape Breton (Mr. Johnston) last night said to us : For 18 years you were in power, and you did nothing to increase the facilities for the people of Prince Edward Island, and nothing was done to develop the great coal and steel industry of Cape Breton. What are the facts? I would be ashamed, if I were in the hon. gentleman's place, to make such a statement as that. I see the hon. gentleman's colleague, and I am sure he will agree with me. The late government, under the leadership of Sir John Macdonald and having Sir Charles Tupper as its minister of railways, built a railway from the straits of Canso to Sydney ; and if there has been a boom of late years in the coal and steel industry of Cape Breton, it has been largely due to the building of that railway.
The manufacturers of Sydney have this accommodation from Sydney to Port Mul-grave on the north-east side. It promoted transportation as far as it could be done on Mr. HACKETT.
Prince Edward Island and yet this hon. gentleman, who comes from the country, said that nothing had been done in those eighteen years to develop the resources of the country. I would be ashamed, if I were In his place; to make any such statement.
I find also that the public debt has been largely increased. We were told by hon. gentlemen opposite, when in opposition, that the public debt was altogether out of proportion to the population, and -that if elected to office they would reduce it. What do we find ? We find that notwithstanding the pledges of these hon. gentlemen and notwithstanding the surpluses which the Minister of Finance has had during the past four years, our public debt has been increased over 810,000,000, and next year the Finance Minister tells us he will increase it $6,000,000. So that we have the public debt increasing by leaps and bounds in spite of the great surpluses that we have been enjoying.
I wish to say a word in connection with the transportation question. That is one of the most important before the country to-day, and one which must be grappled with in the near future by this government. Should we have another harvest in the west such as we had last year, unless some preparations be made for moving it out of the country, there will be a congestion of freight and great loss to the farmers. I am therefore in full sympathy with anything that can be done for the purpose of facilitating transportation from the fields of the North-west.
But I propose to diverge for a moment in order to speak of a local matter, in which 1 am interested, as representing a portion of the people of Prince Edward Island. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) is not in his seat, but I see his colleague the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher) there, and I would remind him that we were promised [DOT] last year direct steam communication between Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton for the purpose of conveying the products of the Island to the markets of Cape Breton. The sum of $5,000 had been previously voted for that line of steamships, but that sum was found insuflicieut, and last session a subsidy of $10,000 was voted. The people of Prince Edward Island naturally expected to have regular steam communication last year, but during the busy season, when every facility was required for the export of produce, no steamer visited our shores, and it was only in December that a boat was provided to call at the island and take a load of freight. That steamer carried away a cargo amounting to nearly one-quarter of a million dollars worth of all kinds of produce. Had she made regular trips in the summer season, 1 have no doubt that she would have had full cargoes all the time. I would urge on the government to have a direct line of
steamers put on the route next year, fitted up with cold storage, and X am sure that Prince Edward Island, although not very large in area, is entitled to as much consideration as the people of the North-west.
But there is another matter to which I would call the attention of hon. gentlemen on the treasury benches, and that is the fast Atlantic service. We know that before Sir Charles Tupper left office, a contract had been arranged with a wealthy corporation for the purpose of providing this fast Atlantic service between Canada and Great Britain. That contract was never completed because hon. gentlemen opposite, when they came to office, were averse to carrying out the arrangement entered into. Instead of that they allowed years to pass, during which they experimented with bottle-necked and all kinds of steamships, and did nothing. Six years have passed and we are still without this fast Atlantic line. I would ask permission to bring to the notice of the government, and especially the Minister of Finance, the resolution passed by the Maritime Board of Trade during last summer. This board of trade is composed of gentlemen from each of the different boards of trade in the maritime provinces. The Boards of Trade of Halifax, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island-each sends its delegates in annual session to this Maritime Board of Trade. That board is therefore composed of active, up-to-date business men, who see the necessity for this fast Atlantic service, and the following resolution was passed by them at their meeting at Chatham, New Brunswick, in August last:
Whereas, the construction of the Intercolonial and Canadian Pacific Railways was considered in the light of great national undertakings for the development of the foreign and international trade of Canada, and
Whereas, the vast and rapidly-growing development of the trade and resources of our country under these great transport facilities confirms the wisdom of parliament in pledging the revenues of the country in aid of their construction, therefore
Resolved, that in the opinion of this board our national pride is affected and our commercial prcgress retarded in consequence of the delay in our federal government in establishing this fast atlantic service, and further,
Resolved, that in the opinion of this board there is a sufficient guarantee in the magnificent results which have followed the construction of our railways to warrant the government in carrying out the completion of our national transportation facilities by pledging the revenues of our country to an extent sufficient to carry , out without further delay the establishment of the fast Atlantic service, and further
Resolved, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the federal government, the several boards of trade in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec; also the members of parliament from the maritime provinces. I
I want to bring these resolutions to the notice of the Minister of Finance, who comes from the maritime provinces himself
and knows the gentlemen composing this Maritime Board of Trade, and I trust he will pay attention to this resolution passed by them at their annual meeting.
My hon. friend from King's (Mr. Hughes) delivered the other evening his maiden speech in parliament. I have nothing to say with regard to the manner of his delivery, but I must say that the matter was entirely wrong. He spoke of the increase in our imports and exports, and attributed the whole of that increase to our present tariff. Sir, the hon. gentleman was entirely mistaken when he attributed our good harvest, our successful mining and lumber operations, the good catches of our fishermen and everything else good in Canada to the policy and administration of the government. He said :
How can any reasonable man say tbat the operation of the tariff is unsatisfactory, under which the trade of the country has increased $150,000,000 in round numbers in five years.
The hon. gentleman forgot to thank Divine Providence for the bountiful harvest we have had. He forgot to thank the late government for having built the Canadian Pacific Railway and developed that western country. He forgot also to thank the people of Canada who. by their energy and industry, unassisted by this government, produced that large quantity of goods which were exported from Canada. The hon. gentleman had no recognition for any of these influences, but he gave the full credit for everything to the government. He spoke of the increase in exports and also of our success in making cheese. He says that cheese had increased in quantity and value. A large increase lias taken place in the export of cheese. But, so far as the province from which the hon. gentleman comes is concerned, he has nothing to thank the government for in that. Before this government came into power the late government had sent Professor Robertson, and he had established cheese factories all over Prince Edward Island. And these cheese factories were in operation and the people were reaping the benefit of them before this government came into power. Can the hon. gentleman show that this government has found a market for a pound of cheese for which there was not a market under the late government. Then the hon. gentleman spoke of eggs, and said that there had been an increased export in this line. If he were in his seat, I would ask him to tell me if anything had been done by this government to cause the hens to lay a dozen eggs more than they did, or to find a market for a dozen eggs more than could be sold before. Before the McKinley tariff, we had a market for our eggs in the United States, paying a 'duty of five cents a dozen. That was increased to fifteen cents a dozen, a prohibitive duty. Mr. Foster, the Finance Minister of the government of that day, said that we must find a market for our
eggs, and the government sent agents to England to open a market there. And lion, gentlemen opposite, then sitting on this side of the House, scoffed at the idea of his being able to transport eggs three thousand miles to England and put them on the market In good condition. But the government of that day succeeded in opening that market and the hon. gentlemen now on the treasury benches are getting the benefit of what was done by their predecessors, they having done nothing themselves. But the hon. member for King's, Prince Edward Island, did not refer to the most important question in the eyes of the people of his own province, and that is having a representative of that province in the Cabinet. These hon. gentlemen can speak of eggs and butter and everything ejse, but they have not a word to say with regard to this important question of a seat in the Cabinet for Prince Edward Island. One singular thing about that is that when the hon. member for West Queen's (Mr. Farquharson) whom I see in his seat, ran his election, one of the reasons held out why the people should vote for him was that he was to have a seat in the Cabinet. It was said that this was a government of premiers, and the hon. gentleman, as a premier of the province, was naturally entitled to a seat in this Cabinet. A few days before the election, the ' Charlottetown Patriot,' the organ of the government, the pocket organ of the hon. member for West Queen's had something to say on this subject. At this time, the friends of the hon. gentleman were appealing to Conservatives to let him in without opposition on the ground that this would strengthen his chances. This is what it said :-
Again, the fact that Premier Farquharson goes o Ottawa without opposition will do much to strengthen his claim to a cabinet position and apart entirely from political leaning, this is what every voter in Prince Edward Island desires. It would be detrimental to our interest if this province were left without a cabinet representative, but difficulty in securing representation will of necessity be encountered. In sending the strong jst man available, one who if elected by acclamation is consequently acknowledged strong by both political parties our claims from that standpoint will be greatly strengthened.
The hon. gentleman was not elected by acclamation ; but this editorial shows you how the editor of that government organ regarded this matter at the time. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Farquharson) is here, and occupies a comfortable seat and is not yet in the Cabinet. I think that is very unfair. The day before the election Mr. Dobell was killed in Englandt and it was placarded in front of the ' Patriot ' office that Mr. Farquharson would go into the Cabinet, Mr. Dobell being dead. The hon. gentleman is not yet in the Cabinet. The government is very unfair to the hon. member to keep him looking over the wall so long. He sits there apparently very placid, but he Mr. HACKETT.
must be murmuring to himself ' so near and yet so far.'
Another point to which I wish to refer is that of bonusing the sugar industry in this country. Several applications have reached me asking me to bring this important matter before the House. Down in Prince Edward Island, Mr. Callaghan, a strong Liberal traversed the province, held public meetings, received subscriptions in the form of agreements to set apart and cultivate land for the production of the beet, for the purpose of creating there a beet sugar industry. It appears that the plant for this industry will cost at the beginning a very large amount of money and the people of Prince Edward Island are asking that the promoters should be granted a small vote for the first two or three years, to enable them to carry out their scheme. But, from the budget speech, it appears that the government will do nothing. The Finance Minister tells us that the Ontario government are bonusing the beet and sugar industry in that province, I would ask the Minister of Finance what benefit it will be to -the farmers of Prince Edward Island that this bonus is being given to the province of Ontario ? We want the government to assist the farmer. We know that the payment of steel, iron, silver-lead and other bounties already promised will have the effect of adding $50,000,000 to the debt of the Dominion. Why should not the farmer be given a share of these bonuses ? A very silly remark was made the other evening in this debate to the effect that a bounty should be extended to the farmer for their potatoes, oats, and other products. That, of course, is nonsense. The farmer does not want it. But when the farmer sees a valuable industry that could be created in the province and asks assistance from the government in the same way as it has been given to the steel men and silver-lead people, they feel that they are entitled to consideration. And it is very unfair to the farmer to deprive him of his rights. Who will pay these enormous bounties on steel and silver-lead ? The farmers of Canada. It is the farmer who has his stakes deep down in the soil, whose home is here and who expects to bring up his family here who pays the taxes from which those bonuses come. Yet, while demanding these bounties from him for the benefit of other industries, the government refuses absolutely a bounty in this industry which the farmer believes to be of great advantage to him.
Now, I wish to refer for a moment to the , amendment moved by the leader of the opposition. It is a reasonable and fair amendment. The Minister of Trade and Commerce said it was an old friend, and he recognized it. He is a friend of this old friend. It was that old friend that drove him out of power, and this new friend is going to do the same thing. This is an amendment asking for protection for the
agriculturist, for the manufacturer, for the lumberman, for the fisherman, for the miner, for all the classes and all the people of Canada. Therefore, it is an amendment that is going to be accepted by the people of Canada. We have on this side of the House a leader that we are proud of. The hon. gentleman Is present, I do not want to flatter him; but, Sir, he is young Canada, he represents young Canada. He is progressive, we are proud of him as a man, and as an able man, and he is going to lead in the near future the government of this Dominion. The people of this country will understand who their friend is, and, Sir, ere long you will find those treasury benches occupied by the gentlemen who are now sitting on this side of the House.
Sir, we have in this Canada of ours great natural resources of which we as a people should be proud. We were left by our fathers a precious heritage which it is our duty to develop. We were left, through the statesmanship of Sir John A. Macdonald, the immense prairies of the North-west purchased from the Hudson Bay Company, Those great fields, those fertile prairies are capable, as I said before, of supporting millions of people; and you will find there before twenty years, Sir. Speaker, when many of us will have passed away, millions of prosperous and happy people. To bring that about the great North-west must be properly developed, the east and the west must join together and work for the upbuilding, of all parts of this confederation. We have also the richest mines in the world, mines in the development of which we have scarcely touched the fringe, yet mines yielding gold, silver, coal, iron and other metals in rich profusion. We have forests and the finest lumber in the world, as yet untouched by the axe of the woodman. We have in addition, surrounding our shores on the east and on the west, the most valuable and extensive fisheries in the world. Having those great resources it behooves us as a people to go on united and work together as one man. We may have our differences in politics. What we need, if we are going to make Canada a great nation, is to strike at the root of corruption that is now prevailing in this government, and to install an honest government in this country. We have the freest institutions in the world, where almost every man has a vote. We have an intelligent population composed of the descendants of the best races of the old world, the Englishman, the Scotchman, the Frenchman, the Irishman, the German, and men of other nationalities of the continent of Europe. Having that great heritage and that intelligent population, why should we not hope in the near future to see Canada take her place amongst the great nations of the world ?
It is not my intention to follow the hon. gentleman in that lengthy portion of his speech which was devoted particularly to the interests of the island province from which he comes. It is not my intention either to go into a lengthy discussion of the merits of free trade or protection. It is astonishing to me, Sir, that every year the budget of Canada is discussed in this House, we have to listen to long arguments presented in what I might call an academic form, setting forth the theoretical merits of the policy of protection or the policy of free trade. On one side we hear hon. gentlemen telling us how the policy of free trade has built up England, and that therefore it is one that we should adopt. On the other side hon. gentlemen expatiate on the advantages that the United Stites have derived from a policy of protection. It seems to me it is about time that we, instead of looking either to England or to the United States for a trade policy, should confine our attention to our own interests, and to an inquiry as to what policy would best suit our special conditions. We are told by one party that we should be free traders because England is free trader ; we are told by another party that we should be protectionists because the United States are1 protectionists. But it' strikes me that the defenders of both systems seem to disregard the fact that these two entirely different systeiQS have both proved eminently successful in the two countries where they are respectively in force. Free trade has been a good policy in England because it was the policy that suited the conditions of England at the time it was adopted; and protection has been a good policy in the United States because it suited the conditions of that country at the time it was adopted. The same inconveniences that are pointed to in the United States by the defenders of a free trade system as resulting from a protectionist policy, have also manifested themselves in free trade England. The concentration of wealth, the undue development of manufacturing industries, the movement of population from the country to the city, have taken place in England just as they have taken place in the United States. Therefore, I am obliged to come to the conclusion that many public men in this country lack confidence in their own country, they seem to be always looking abroad to discover a policy.
For myself, I have never concealed the fact that I am a protectionist iu Canada; not because I believe that a system of protection in itself is superior to a system of free trade. In theory I am a free trader, and were I living in England I would stick to the policy of free trade. But protection is forced upon us, not because it has been advocated by so many theorists and economists, but because it is indicated by our circumstances. I fully realize the force of the argument made in this House that under a policy of protection the consuming
population of Canada, to a certain extent, contribute to the enrichment of a small number of men; in other words, that the large consuming classes of Canada contribute to enriching the Canadian manufacturers. This is not a question of personal interest in my case. I represent a county composed almost entirely of consumers ; and certainly regret when I see the people of my county contributing so large an amount of money for the enrichment of a small number of men. But certainly I prefer to see our people give their money to enriching Canadian manufactur-t ers, than to see it go to the United States, to Germany, to England, or to any other foreigu manufacturers. When we pay our money to Canadian manufacturers it remains in this country, and goes to swell the capital of Canadians, the capital available for the development of Canadian industries, of Canadian mines, of transportation facilities within our own country, to the employment of Canadian labour. X fully sympathize, from a theoretical point of view, with the argument made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce that it would be foolish for us to complain that foreign goods are allowed to come into this country and to be sold at a cheaper price than Canadian goods. But I am alive to the fact that should we leave our doors open and allow foreign manufacturers to make a slaughter market of Canada, the consequence would be the closing up of our own manufactories ; and after that result had come about, the consuming classes in Canada would be left entirely in the hands of those very monopolists who have been created by a policy of protection in the United States. So I say I would rather stand a little protection iu Canada in order to get competition with American trade, than to buy American goods a little cheaper for some time and to put our consumers entirely at the mercy of American monopolists.
I say that I would rather stand a little protection in Canada to get competition against the Americans than pay a little less for four, five, or six years for American goods and then be left entirely in the hands of American monopolists. If I have to choose between two monopolies, X would rather choose the monopoly that would be developed in my own country and which will help to develop the resources of my own country, than, for the purpose of saving a little money for a few years, bring nearer to the fate of the people of this country the day when the whole of this country will be left in the hands of foreign monopolists.
The sooner we realize on both sides of this House that the policy of protection is not a question of choice for the Canadian people, the better it will be for us. The moment lion, gentlemen on the other side of the House realize that the policy of protection was forced upon their party by the popular sentiment and the moment hon.
gentlemen on this side of the House realize that the same popular sentiment has forced them to stick to that policy, the better it will be for the people of this country. I am told that the day is coming when the United States will be free traders, or freer traders. Well, let that day come, and I am the first man to say, when we can afford to lower our tariff, when we can afford to stand the competition of American manufacturers, when the American manufacturers themselves stand the competition of the foreign world. Let us open our ports. But,when we are a nation of 5,000,000 which has so much to do yet to develop its natural resources alongside of a nation of 80,000,000 of people, we cannot take upon ourselves to say that we are going to inaugurate upon this continent a policy that will have for its result to give that nation of 80,000,000 of people full control of trade on the American continent.
Now, Sir, I fully agree also with the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir Richard Cartwright) that a protection policy is apt to give rise to more causes of corruption on the part of the government, and I find myself in this strange position that I am standing here to defend the policy, and the virtue of the government against one of its own members. I admit that the policy of protection may be a cause of temptation to the government, but, are we going to be told by one of the members of the government that the virtue of the government is so weak that it cannot stand the policy that is imposed upon it by the will of the people ? The hon. gentleman has referred to the causes of the corruption of the previous government. No doubt the Conservative government, in the last years of its regime, was corrupt, and it is for that reason that the people changed it. But, all the examples which have been given by the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, pointing to the corruption of their predecessors, were owing to causes arising, not from the application of the fiscal policy, but owing to the construction of certain public works. Public works, also, are causes of corruption and may be causes of temptation to the government. Is this government going to abandon the construction of public works in this country? Are we going to abandon the development of the improvements of transportation, are we going to abandon the policy of deepening the St. Lawrence channel, and of diverting our trade which is going through American means of transportation, because the construction of great public works may be causes of corruption ? I have more confidence than that in the virtue of the men that the people put at the head of their affairs; and I hope that in carrying out what is the will of the people to-day, as far as the fiscal policy of the country is concerned, as well as in carrying out the big works which have been imposed on them by the interests of the country,
the hon. gentlemen now In power will have the courage to face the situation-though at some times, I quite admit, it might be a little hurtful to the old fighters who have proclaimed principles which they are debarred from applying to stick to that policy.
There is one point, however, upon which I cannot agree with the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding), and that is as to the stability of the tariff. I quite agree with the hon. gentleman that once the tariff has been changed it should not be changed without proper reason, but, though I am a protectionist for the time being, though I am not a free trader on principle, I am not a protectionist to the point that X think our tariff should remain without being changed. Having, I confess it very humbly, no principle upon this question, being a protectionist because I think the policy of protection is imposed upon us by circumstances, I say that our tariff should change according to circumstances-not according to slight circumstances, but I think the government should be alive to the fact that when the circumstances change which impose upon us a higher tariff, they should not be afraid to raise the tariff, and that when circumstances, on the other side, impose a lowering of the tariff, they should not be afraid to lower the tariff if necessary. We are told of the tremendous results that have been produced in the United States by protection, and of the wonderful achievements of the policy of free trade in England. But, there is another country with which I am going to make a comparison and to which X will point as a good example of a country where a varying tariff policy is the cause of great prosperity. The outside trade of France has not increased very much, but the stability which is marked in the outside trade of France, is also marked in the balancing of capital within the country itself, which, to my mind, is the greatest sign of prosperity. I do not care how many millions of dollars worth may be manufactured, I do not care how many millions are gathered in the banks in one country, I do not care what the figures may show as to the richness of one country or the other : I say the most prosperous country is that in which money, capital and energy are most equally balanced between the greatest number of people living in that country, where you can point to every community, to every city, to every town and to every village and say that there is prosperity. Foreign trade with France is certainly not as big as the English trade or the American trade, or even the German trade, but France stands to-day as the only country where the servant girl, where the farmer, where the little merchant, has always a Jittle money in hand, not only to look to the future of the family, but to lend money to the government when money is needed. After the Franco-Prussian war, when France was bound, after one of the most disastrous wars that ever occurred in
any country, to pay an indemnity of 5,000,000,000 francs, twice the total sum was subscribed by the men on the street. Every public loan that has been made in France for the last thirty years has been entirely, and more than entirely subscribed by her own people and by what would be thought elsewhere the poorer classes who always have a few hundred francs and who are able to lend money to their own government. Therefore, I say, that we should be prepared, according to circumstances, either to raise, or to lower, our tariff when we know that one industry or the other for the general good of the country requires it.
Now, Sir, I will come to the second part of the resolution moved by the hon. leader of the opposition which pronounces in favour of preferential trade within the empire.
I quite agree with the opinion expressed by the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Edwards) that the only feature in our present policy which appears to be on free trade lines is in fact the most protective feature in it, and the most protective feature we have had in our fiscal policy for some years back. The only difference is, that as it stands now, it does not mean protection in favour of the Canadian manufacturer at the expense of the Canadian consumer, but unfortunately it turns out to be protection in favour of the English and German manufacturer at the expense of the Canadian manufacturer, Take the case of the woollen Industry and it goes even further than that. It enables the English manufacturer who cannot compete with the German manufacturer, to import from Germany into England articles manufactured to nine-tenths of their value in Germany, finishing them in England and shipping them to Canada under the preferential clause. Such goods included in the total trade figures of Great Britain, thus getting the benefit which we give to British trade and in reality forcing the deluded Canadian consumer to reduce one-third of his duty in favour of one of the countries that is most inimicable towards Canada. I have inquired a great deal for the last ten months from business men of various kinds, and I find that in the case of many articles that used to be imported from Great Britain at a certain price, the British tradesman or manufacturer, beginning to feel the difference in price caused by the preferential clause has raised his price to our merchants ; or rather, he has abolished the discount which he used to give Canadian buyers for cash. Hence, the benefit which should be given to the Canadian consumer because of the preferential tariff is in fact given to the British or German manufacturer. I therefore hold that the Canadian consumer gets very little benefit from the present preferential clause as it stands. .
When that provision was introduced in the tariff of 1897 I voted for it gladly, lie-cause. although a protectionist, I am a free
trader to the extent that I would like Canada to trade with ns many countries as possible on the principle laid down as the basis of clause 17 of the Tariff Act of 1897 ; and hence X then approved of it entirely. But we have changed that policy year after year. What was the principle of clause 17 of the Tariff Act of 1897 ? It was that every country that would offer to Canada any trade advantages similar to those we offered them would be received by us under the preferential clause and that we would gladly trade with them. But afterwards came our fit of sentimentality ; we have changed that clause, and we have said to the entire world : We are so devoted to Great Britain ; we are so loyal, that we are willing to trade only with the mother country, and we shut our doors to the rest of the world.' Now, Sir, I claim that this was a retrogressive policy. I claim that the policy of the future, for some time to come at all events, is going to be a policy of protection for every country, but it will take from the theory of free trade the very principle which was at the bottom of the doctrines of Cobden : That freedom of trade being impossible between individuals, the greatest freedom of trade possible will be attained between nations. However, as the hon, member for Pictou (Mr. Bell) pointed out, it is impossible to get to that degree of freedom of trade and to that reciprocal policy between different nations unless one nation has something to offer to the other. We had something to offer ; we still have something to offer if we want to ; but, if we are ready to offer anything to foreign nations and to take something from foreign nations we must stop saying that we are so loyal, and that we are so British-much more so indeed than any Englishman or any Scotchman is in the old country because there they open their ports to every nation in the world. We must stop making ourselves the laughing stock of the whole world, the British people included ; and we must begin to say : We are a common sense nation, we will trade with every people who are ready to trade with us-with the English first because they are the easiest people to trade with, but after that, ready to trade with any reasonable nation that has something to offer us and to which we are ready to offer something.
Take the case of Germany. Hon. gentlemen on the other side have expressed great indignation because Germauy has taken from us the advantages she used to give us and that she is now giving to Great Britain. Well, Germany has simply acted as any common sense country and any common sense business man would act. We had, under clause 17 of the Tariff of 1897 a provision which would have enabled us to trade with Germany or with France or with any other country, but now we have taken that provision out. We have said to
Germany : We will not have anything to do with you. We have said the same thing to France, and to Italy, and to every country with which we could trade and that would be ready to trade with us. We have said : We only want to trade with Great Britain ; like the child who at the first little noise runs to hide itself under its mother's apron. We are retrograding in our national aspirations, and so far as that is concerned I cannot agree either with the policy of the government or with the policy of the opposition. We have said that we had opened to a certain extent our doors to Great Britain, because Great Britain opens her doors to us. Do we really believe that the Canadian people ignore the history of the trade policy of Great Britain ? It is true that the ports of Great Britain are free to our trade, but they are equally and to the same degree free to the trade of every country on earth, whether that country be friendly or inimicable to Great Britain. As the hon. member for Bussell (Mr. Edwards) properly said : Great Britain has not adopted this policy of free trade in order to make a display of loyalty- the people of Great Britain are too intelligent and too business-like to do that. They have opened their ports to the trade of the world because it was a policy that suited them ; and at the time they abolished the corn laws, there was a flame or indignation in the colonies and especially in Canada, and some of the political ancestors of the hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House signed at that time an annexation manifesto because the British people did not see fit any longer to tax themselves in order to take our wheat. Any fiscal policy that Great Britain has adopted was adopted in the interest of the people in Great Britain. They have done their duty in that respect, and I stand here as a constant admirer of British policy because the British people have always common sense enough to frame their policy for themselves.
But I say, Sir, that the best way of proving our loyalty to Great Britain, to the British government, and to the British people, is to show them that we are as intelligent and as patriotic as they are, and that we will frame our policy not to suit or to please the British manufacturer, but in order to please and to suit and to benefit the Canadian people at large. It is all very well to say that England is the only country that admits our goods free, and that therefore we should give to England a trade advantage which we will not give to any other people; but I will take the very argument that was made here by the Minister of Trade and Commerce on that point. Figures have a value only when you take into consideration their relative position in any problem. A country may admit our goods free, and yet not be as favourable to us as another country which taxes our goods, but taxes those of some other country at a higher rate. I do not know what the gen-
eral tariff rate in Germany, is; but suppose Germany has a general or maximum rate of 50 per cent, and grants us a minimum rate of 35 per cent. I say that Germany would be treating us with greater favour than Great Britain does when she admits our goods free, and admits with the same freedom American goads, German goods and French goods, most of which, having the advantage of closer communications and much larger markets at home, are in a much better position to be sold cheaply in Great Britain than our goods.
Now, we are told that our trade has increased immensely in Great Britain. X am glad of it, proud of it. But is that really because we have granted a preference to British goods ? Sir, if our exports to Great Britain have developed so largely, it is due to a considerable extent, I am glad to say, to the intelligent efforts of the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher). It is because we have sent a better class of goods and have shipped them in better order. The English consumer has too much common sense, and understands his interest too well, to buy bad butter and bad eggs because they come from the loyal colony of Canada. He will buy butter, and eggs, and flour, and anything else that comes from Canada, as long as he gets these things as good and as cheap as he can get them elsewhere ; and the moment that he can get them cheaper and better elsewhere than he can in Canada, he will buy them elsewhere, as he has done in the past.
But there is another consideration-we know it from the authorities on British industry and British politics, British industry is to-day passing through a very trying crisis. Will it last, or is it only temporary V We do not know ; but we do know that British production in manufacturing is going down all the time, while British trade is increasing. What does that mean ? It means that Great Britain is becoming less a manufacturing country, and more a trading country. Great Britain is doing to-day more business as what I might call the foreign traveller of other nations than she is doing from her own industries. Out of the many millions of our exports that go to Great Britain-I found it out when in England last summer-a large proportion go to the European continent, where the intelligent traders have the skill to sell them as British goods, and we do not get the benefit of selling them as Canadian products. We imagine that we are selling all these products to England, whilst we are selling a considerable proportion to France, Germany, Belgium and Holland, and at the same time we are deprived of the opportunity of going to those countries and saying to them : ' You take so much from us and we take so much from you, let us trade together.' All this because we are more loyal than the King of England and the people of the British Islands.
Sir, to my mind the great danger of our present position is that we do not rely enough upon our own strength. For a certain time, as the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce said vei-y properly, the Conservative party had a great inclination to look to the United States as their example. At the same time the Liberal party may have had some inclination to look to Great Britain as their example. But even at that time there was much more national feeling in the political parties of Canada than there is now. Have the hon. gentlemen on the opposition side forgotten the day when their great leader, and one of the greatest statesmen of this country, Sir John Macdonald, when accused of discriminating against Great Britain and British connection, said,
' So much the worse for British connection !' Have the hon. gentlemen on the government side forgotten that when the leader of the government was accused of sacrificing British interests in favour of American interests, he said : ' I do not mind where the money comes from ; I prefer the American dollar to the British shilling.' I do not know what is passing over this country, but it seems that for some years we have been acting as if we regretted that our manhood was coming to us, and wanted to go back to our childhood. We are afraid of relying upon our own strength as Canadians. We talk of our great resources and of having a policy for Canada ; but when the time comes for applying such a policy, both parties are so much afraid of being accused of disloyalty that they will go back on their records of the past 50 years.
I am a great admirer of the British people ; and after a visit which I made last summer to England and which I enjoyed greatly, I came back with still greater admiration and sympathy for the British people. The reason is that they are a proud and strong people, and they like a people who are proud and strong. We may get a great many paper compliments for the policy we have adopted, but we do not get any greater esteem than we did when we said to John Bull : 'We are a worthy son of yours, but we are looking to our own interests first and last.'
I was very much surprised yesterday to hear the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell). With good, common sense argument-in which, like myself, be gave a good deal of credit to both parties and some blame to both-he proved that it was to our interest to trade all over the world, and a. great mistake to stake our policy upon the preference for Great Britain ; and then he concluded by saying that it would not be proper for the people of Canada to repeal the preference. I am prepared to go further and say that the moment we find that the preference policy does not suit us, we should repeal it.
The time is coming when both parties in this country will come to their cool senses. That wave of extraordinary poetical loyal-
-he was, ordinarily, an opponent of the government
-in its resistance to the retrogade policy which is involved in the proposal of the hon. member.
But, of course, a few months later, this same gentleman exclaimed, speaking of the colonies-not of the colonies asking for any preference, not of the colonies asking for fair treatment, but of the colonies shedding their blood and giving their men for the
defence of the empire
These independent, self-governing communities have shown not merely by eloquent words or by enthusiastic cheers, but by spontaneously sending forth thousands of their sons to fight and to die for their fatherland-that our empire is one and indivisable, and that if ever it should be in peril from stress or storm it can summon to its defence a vast army of men of every class and creed and clime
Our determination is to maintain our colonies, and to link them to each other and to us by even closer ties
-but not to the point of giving us one atom of the favour we give to the British people. I could quote hundreds of extracts of this kind, but I do not think it is necessary.
This last summer, after our repeated proofs of devotion to the empire, the same
question, or rather a question involving the same principle, was brought up in the British parliament. It was brought up by Mr. Fowler, the member for West Bradford, in the form of a proposal that the duty on sugar imported from the colonies should be reduced by 33J per cent, thereby granting to one colonial article the same rate of preference that we have granted to so many British products. And this is what he said :
Canada had carried out a proposal which had extorted enthusiasm from this country ; and he submitted that, in view not only of what Canada had done but of what Australia was capable of doing, the Chancellor of tha Exchequer should make a serious attempt to consider the question of an inter-empire preferential tariff. If our colonies were prepared on certain questions to meet us, ought we not to he prepared to meet them ? ... . The time was ripe for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to respond in a sympathetic spirit to the proposals of the colonies
And what did Sir Michael Hicks-Beaeli reply to that sympathetic appeal ? This :
In pursuance of the same policy, Canada might ask that a duty should be imposed on our corn and flour imported not produced in Canada, and similar claims might be advanced on behalf of Canadian timber, Australian wool, and meat from New Zealand, and so on, through all articles preference would be claimed
for colonial produce If, on the
other hand, we refused to foreign nations the treatment extended to our colonies, what would happen ? We had an export trade with foreign countries double the amount of the trade with our colonies, and were we prepared to risk the loss of this trade by declining to give foreign countries in return for the same concessions the treatment we gave to the colonies ?
There, the principle was laid down straight that Great Britain was not ready to make any sacrifices of foreign relations in favour of her colonies. Then Sir Howard Vincent arose and said :
They owed an enormous debt to Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the boldness with which he had advocated, these proposals and for his firm attitude during the general election last year
And Sir William Harcourt said :
They all recognized the zeal and valour with which the empire across the seas had sent their forces to aid in this war ; but the taxation for the war would not fall upon them, but upon the petty population of 40,000,000 who occupied little England. And the proposal was that the workingmen, on whom this taxation would fall, were to have an additional burden put upon them in order to give relief to those who did not pay the taxes
And Mr. Henniker Heaton said :
If the Chancellor of the Exchequer could see his way to agree to the amendment the greatest enthusiasm would be felt A
motion such as that which w'as now before the committee would promote kindly feeling towards England, and its rejection, after such a sacrifice as Canada has made, would cause Mr. BOURASSA.
great disappointment in that part of the empire. It would be thought that we did not care about the colonies when dealing with questions of taxation.
But the Chancellor of the Exchequer replied :
He felt strongly the kindliness and good will shown by the action of Canada. But, greatly as he valued that kindness, he thought the action itself was of far more importance than the actual effect it would have upon a great industry.
What was the result ? In 1897, after appealing to the House, the motion was withdrawn. In 1899, after the Jubilee, but before our proofs of loyalty had been given in the war, that motion was defeated by a vote of 192 to 37. But after the development of the feeling of reciprocity, after the feeling of love growing up among the members of the empire had produced such good and great results, the representatives of the British people crushed the motion in favour of the principle of any advantage being given to the colonies by a vote of 366 to 16. Sir, that has been the result of the development of love of the mother country for the colonies. And we are told now that we should not stand up in the Canadian parliament and say that we have at least one-tenth the feeling of pride in our own country that the British representatives have in theirs ! I think that is but a poor way to prove to Great Britain that we have profited by her example.
The Prime Minister of Ontario was in the old country last winter, and, with his eloquence, with his skill, with his wide knowledge of Canadian affairs, he spoke at a great number of meetings in England. One of the questions he took up was this question of the preference, and another was the question of immigration to Canada. The hon. gentleman has put in pamphlet form and published within the last few weeks some of his addresses in England. It is very amusing to bring together a few paragraphs to see how the expressions of opinion coming from a colonial representative are received in the old country when, on the one hand he expresses a desire to help Great Britain, and, on the other hand, a desire of being helped. Speaking in London on the 25th of July, Mr. Ross said :
I do not think we can keep a standing army for the defence of the empire, but I believe we can contribute something for a naval reserve. We have 50,000 fishermen who, with a little training, could be drawn on liberally for the navy.
Mr. Ross is an acute politician : he knew this would not affect very much his province, and he was ready to grant 50,000 fishermen from Quebec and the maritime provinces to prove our love towards Great Britain. But a few days later, speaking at Manchester on the 31st of July he said :-
I say to you here in Manchester that we are willing-I think we are willing-in Canada to
impose a duty of 5 per cent on all importations from any foreign country, excepting the colonies of the empire, the money to be applied as a war tax or as a defence fuud for the defence of the empire. Will you reciprocate that ? Will you impose a u per cent tax on all imparts from foreign countries, excluding the colonies, as a defence fund for the defence of the empire ? Surely that is a practical basis.
And from the meeting came the cries : No ! No ! Sir, when the colonial statesman was offering freely our blood, was offering freely the arms, and strength, and energy of our youth, his words were accepted graciously ; but when he asked the British people to grant us, not anything comparable with that youth, not anything comparable with the gift we were asked to make, when he simply asked them to impose a small rate of duty, 5 per cent, of which they would get the benefit as a defence fund for the empire, the answer he gets is, no, no. That is imperialism as it is understood on the other side.
Why ? In order to make the Canadian people understand what is the real aim of the imperialist party in Great Britain, to show that by sacrificing the blood and the money of this country we are simply playing into the hands of politicians who are trying to make the British people shut their eyes to the iniquities in South Africa.
Sir, there was also the question of the embargo on Canadian cattle to which I referred some days ago. Here is a question upon which we do not ask for a great sacrifice from the British people ; we simply ask that the British government should not wilfully brand our cattle throughout the whole world as being poisoned. The Minister of Agriculture has brought the correspondence before the House. Much of it was brought down in previous years ; but I find here that the hon. minister submitted to the Privy Council of Canada a report in which he made what X may call a summary of the whole, question.
No, it is too long. It is laid on the Table of the House and the hon. member can read it. It might help him to understand many things that he does not understand now. As I said on a previous occasion, the Minister of Agriculture made a splendid campaign in England on behalf of Canadian interests, a campaign of which I was to some extent a witness, because I had an opportunity of speaking with a good many Englishmen, traders and stock raisers, who told me of the most intelligent and persistent efforts made by the Minister of Agriculture. I see that before going to England he had a report adopted by the Privy Council in which I read this :
The minister recommends that urgent representations be made to the Imperial government that the present embargo placed on Canadian cattle by the United Kingdom is not only a serious detriment from a financial point of view to * the Canadian cattle trade and the farmers and stock raisers of Canada, and to the purchasers of beef, cattle and stackers in the United Kingdom, but that !t is a most unfair and unjust aspersion on the health and reputation of Canadian cattle. It is a publication to all the markets of the world to which Canadian cattle could be exported that in the opinion of the authorities of the United Kingdom it is dangerous to import Canadian cattle. The minister also observes that were this justified by the facts of the case, or the condition of our cattle during many years past, no exception could be taken to it, but with the knowledge of the foregoing facts he desires to press most strenuously the equity and policy of removing Canada from the schedule.
Therefore not only was the case presented to the British public by the Minister of Agriculture, but it was presented officially to the British government by the Canadian government. What was the reply ? In a letter from the Board of Agriculture communicated to this government by Mr. Chamberlain, this is what I find written by Mr. Elliott, secretary of the Board, under date of June 12, 1901 :
The requirement that imported animals must be landed at a foreign animals wharf for slaughter there, is now a statutory one of general application to all imported animals alike, irrespective of any question of the particular country from which they arrive, as will be seen by reference to the Diseases of Animals Act, 1896. The flee importation of animals into the United Kingdom is therefore no longer permissible in the case of any country, nor have the board any power to relax the requirements above referred to, or to differentiate between one country and
another in that respect
it is not probable that parliament would
support, nor could the board propose, the modifications or appeal of the Act which was passed five years ago after full consideration and discussion at the hands of those concerned.
Well, Sir, now we are told that because in 1896 the British parliament passed a statute, it must stand for all time to come, sacred as the Bible. But the other day when it was found that the British government could not accept, sailors from the colony of Newfoundland for their navy, owing to some obstacle in the constitution of the colony, they said they would remove the obstacle, not only from Newfoundland but from all British colonies, so that in future the British government could come into all the colonies and get sailors for their navy. Bnt when it is a question of removing from a British statute a clause which is an unjustifiable slander upon Canadian cattle, and an impediment to the trade of the loyal Canadian people-no, it is a British statute, it is sacred and cannot be touched ! Are we going to stand that treatment ? We are told we should not stand the treatment that is given to us by Germany. Sir, Germany is a foreign
country. We have not shed our blood for Germany, we have not paid any money to Germany, we have treated Germany like a foreign country, we have asked Great Britain to disallow a treaty made with Germany. But, Sir, the British people have received a little help from the Canadian people. British statesmen, and especially Mr. Chamberlain, were very proud to be able to say upon public platforms in England that the people of the colonies were helping them, that the Liberals of England had no right to denounce the South African war because the whole Canadian people was at the back of England. But when it comes to a question, not of granting us any favours, but of simply doing us justice, when we ask them not to treat us as aliens, the answer is: No there is the British
statute. And the British Board of Agriculture will not even take the trouble to ask parliament to repeal an unjust law.
I need not refer to the Alaskan boundary question, I have talked sufficiently about that. Shall I refer to the question of immigration into Canada ? Here is a question upon which the British people are as much interested as we are. Mr. Ross wrote in the month of September last a very eloquent letter to the British people, published in the ' London Times,' in which he said it was in the interest of the British people to direct British immigration into the British colonies. He pointed out that during the last ten years, out of 726,000 emigrants, 520,000, or 72 per cent had gone to the United States, while only 90,000, or 13 per cent had gone to British North America. In order to induce the British government to take a hand in the matter he pointed out the advantage, from the military point of view, that she would derive in the future, and he said :- Canada would furnish a basis for the food supplies of the empire, and an admirable recruiting ground for the army and navy. Moreover (and this is of great importance), with an addition to our population of such persons as would naturally emigrate from the United Kingdom, the attachment of Caaadians to the empire would be greatly and permanently strengthened.
From the general feeling in this country, one would think that this would bring a very enthusiastic reply from the great English organ. Well, it said that it was desirable that the British emigrant should go to the British colonies. But, it said :
Bis going to the United. States rather than to the Dominion, to South Africa, or to Australia is probably much less an affair of the flag than it is of latitude and longitude. South Africa is closed for the present, though we all hope that before long new openings and brighter prosnects will be found there. Australia is a long way off, while the American continent, is, by comparison, close at hand. Canada, as we krow, is not 'Our Lady of the Snows,' but nothing can alter the fact that the United States lie south of the Dominion nor its influence on the stream of emigration. If Canada were a part of the United States, or if the British flag waved undisputed from the Arctic ocean to the
Gulf of Mexico, the stream of European emigration would probably still flow mainly to the middle latitudes of the North American Continent. No improved 'teaching of the geography and resources of the British Empire' can alter the fundamental fact that temperate zones best suit the people of these islands.
As you see, in the case of South Africa, the present state of the war was shown as the only obstacle in the way of the British emigrant going there ; and in the case of Australia it was the long distance that might be shortened by improved means of transportation; but, as far as Canada is concerned, our case is that it is because we are not a temperate country. That is the greatest encouragement received from that great organ of public opinion, when the Prime Minister of one of the provinces tried to attract British emigration to that province. But, tljere is a higher authority as to the climate of our country. When those Welsh emigrants wanted to come to Canada and when they appealed to the master of the empire, the great prophet who rules over the destinies of this whole empire, who has framed the policy of the colonies for the last four years, the reason given by Mr. Chamberlain why these Welsh emigrants should not come here was that they would require too many woollen clothes ! But when it came to a question of emigration to South Africa, to a point where the British government want settlers to go and take the places of these people who had been deprived of their farms, of those people who have been slaughtered, that was the purpose that was to be achieved. Their British blood was wanted to serve Mr. Chamberlain's purpose, and what the British government was not ready to do for the loyal colony of Canada, for the loyal colony of Australia, or for the loyal colony of New Zealand, the British government was ready to do for South Africa. What did we read in the Toronto ' Globe ' of 2nd July last ?
Advices received from England intimate that the consent of the Imperial government has been given to a scheme lor state aided emigration to South Africa. This news will be received with much regret in Canada and the other colonies which are looking to the British Isles for settlers to occupy and till their vacant lands. After the sacrifices which the colonies have made in blood and treasure to help the mother country, it seems but a poor return for the latter to throw its mighty influence into the scale in favour of emigration to South Africa. Canada has a special reason to feel annoyance.
But, as long as we feel only and we do not give more evidence of our feelings than we have done for the last four years the result will be nil. It is useless talk to go on telling the British government and the British people : ' You may do what you like, you can rely upon us; you can get everything from us. If you do anything against us we will enter a little protest outside of parliament, but both parties are so loyal that no one will dare to stand up in the
Canadian parliament and tell you the truth.' The British government are a very practical and businesslike government: as long as our annoyance is intimated only through newspaper articles, you may rest assured that our men and our money will be well received, but that we will not get anything more satisfactory in the way of help towards immigration, towards the removal of the embargo on cattle, towards anything, not of favour, but of equal treatment and justice.
Now, 1 come to the question of Chinese and Japanese immigration. It is not my purpose to go into the merits of the question. The hon. member for Vancouver (Sir. Smith), the other day, dealt lengthily with the question. He gave us the argument that there was nothing contrary to Imperial policy in dealing with that question. He quoted a letter from Mr. Chamberlain tQ the Governor of Tasmania, written in 1898, saying that it was the undoubted right of every British colony tos adopt the immigration policy as they saw fit. But, Sir, Mr. Chamberlain has written many letters since that time. Now, the Imperialistic feeling has developed. The result of the South African war has been felt. What is the result ? On the 19tli of August last, the London ' Times,' published a letter from a gentleman from British Columbia, Mr. David Falconer, editor of the * Outlook,' in which I find :
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, our premier, has said that he thinks British Columbia is entitled to a larger share of the head tax on Chinamen, but, that nothing can be done to stop the emigration of the Japanese for 'Imperial reasons.' Yet, notwithstanding this opinion of Sir Wilfrid's, it seems incredible that Great Britain will deliberately permit the progressive and loyal peoplg of any of her colonies to be plundered by an industrial Mongolian invasion for 'Imperial' or any other reasons if the matter he placed clearly before her.
Now, in an article published on the 2nd of September, the London ' Times ' discussed the statement of Mr. Falconer, that the people of British Columbia were united on that point, and the ' Times ' added :
But, if it were so, we should still urge our Canadian fellow countrymen to give a more patient hearing to the 'Imperial considerations' of which Sir Wilfrid Laurier has spoken In connection with this question than Mr. Falconer seems inclined to do.
I suppose most of the members of this House know that in the commonwealth of Australia the parliament has adopted, not a prohibitive law, but a law putting such a test upon the Mongolian emigrant that he is practically excluded. There was a good deal of protest, too, from the British government. Mr. Chamberlain wrote to the "overnor of Australia, Lord Hopetoun, ask-in" the Australian government to change their policy. The Australian go /eminent replied, that they would try to do so, but the moment the Australian parliament was
called together, the leader of the opposition, Mr. Reid, denounced the Australian government in such terms that they had to go back to the resolution and carry out then-law. Even then the influence of the British government was felt. The motion in favour of prohibition was pressed, and it was defeated only by five or six votes. It was defeated because the Australian government asserted that should it be carried it would be disallowed by the King, a proceeding which has not been adopted for a long time by the British Crown. At first the Australian government tried to make it apply to all emigrants by imposing an English language test, but at the request of the labour party, they framed it in such a way as to apply only to Asiatics. Protests were entered by the Japanese government and a letter was sent by Mr. Chamberlain to the Australian government saying that the Japanese government were threatening to cancel the mail contracts between Australia and Japan, but, the Australian government stood by its law and it is in operation now.
What happened here ? As early as the month of October last, not three weeks after the Bill had passed in British Columbia, Mr. Chamberlain wrote at once to the Canadian government to look into the matter. I must say that the Minister of Justice recommended the disallowance of the law, but it was not disallowed immediately, and on the 22nd of January, 1901, Mr. Chamberlain wrote to Lord Minto :
Downing Street, January 22, 1901.
My Lord,-With reference to :ny despatch No. 25 of even date respecting the British Columbia Immigration Act, 1900, I have the honour to request that you will invite the serious attention of your ministers to the question of the competence of a provincial legislature to pass such legislation.
2. It is understood from press reports that the Act is of a restrictive nature, based on the Natal, and having regard to the general principles on which the British North America Act is based, it would appear that such a measure is ultra vires for any legislative body In Canada other than the Dominion parliament.
3. The whole scheme of the British North America Act implies the exclusive exercise by the Dominion of all 'national' powers, and though the power to legislate for the promotion and encouragement of immigration into the provinces may have been properly given to the provincial legislatures, the right of entry into Canada of persons voluntarily seeking ouch entry is obviously a purely national matter, affecting as it does directly the relations of the empire.
I have the honour to be, my Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient servant,
(Sgd.) J. CHAMBERLAIN.
Now, Sir, we have the principle laid down in tills whole question in dispute between Imperial rights and provincial rights. In 1894 the Imperial government acknowledged, in their treaty with Japan, that every British colony had the undoubted right of excluding Japanese immigrants if it choose to
do so, and that It was a power appertaining to every colony. Now, eight years later, we have the Colonial Secretary writing to a free colonial government telling them that they should take from one of their free provinces the right to say on what principle the basis of the population of that province should be fixed, because it might affect imperial interests. To-day it is a question of Japan. Suppose that to-morrow it is in the interest of the British government to make a treaty with China in order to check what may be considered by England as a hostile invasion of Russia in China ; are we, in Canada, going to pay for that ? Are we going to let the Chinese come into Canada because Mr. Chamberlain may choose to make a treaty with China ? Every time that the British government have a treaty to make with a foreign country, are we going to be told that we have not the right to legislate as to the kind of people that will form the basis of the poulation that will live in this country and that will partake with us the advantages of citizenship in Canada ? Who is going to say what the nature of the population of this country shall be ? Is it the people of England or is it the people of Canada ? I say, Sir, that every provincial government of this country should have the right to say who will enter that particular province and live in that province. I am not discussing the question of Japanese or Chinese immigration in itself;
I am simply discussing the principle whether the British government has the right to decide what our constitution means, and what it does not mean. Up to this date we have been told that the great safeguard of our rights was in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and that whenever a constitutional question was raised we had only to apply to that high tribunal which has no concern in our politics, and that our constitution would be interpreted by that body in the light of the principles of the British constitution. Sir, every time that our liberties are confided to the hands of judicial Englishmen I have no objection, because I know the generosity and the breadth of mind of the English judicial tribunals ; but I say that the interpretation of our constitution should not be left in the hands of the politicians in England who may have some political objects to serve, and who to serve their purposes might try to exercise an influence on the politicians of Canada. There is one body constituted in the British Empire to interpret the British constitution all through the empire, and it is not the Colonial Secretary who should have the right to dictate to any colonial government how the laws passed by any free province should be treated because they may perchance affect the interests of the British government.
I did not expect to speak at such length upon this question, and I would like to ask if the government will consent to an adjournment of the debate.
If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bourassa) is likely to occupy much more time I suppose so. It was understood, however, that other speakers would follow him this evening. We thought we might sit until twelve o'clock, but if the hon. gentleman feels there should be an adjournment I do not think we can refuse it, though I would much prefer we should sit until midnight.