April 3, 1902

CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

reform in the Senate, and they are disposing of senatorships to those who are the largest contributors to the campaign fund. We have one member of the government preaching free trade, another member of the government preaching increased protection, another one preaching revenue tariff, and as to several others it is immaterial to them what they do preach so long as they are left on the treasury benches, all in opposition to that well known rule of constitutional government that all the members of a government are expected to be a unit in matters of public policy. They have been guilty of a violation of pledges that has been a disgrace to this country, that shocks our electorate, that has brought reproach upon the country. They have brought reproach upon our country at home and aboad. With such a record as this I think the time surely cannot be far distant when a long suffering public will refuse to longer tolerate these autocratic politicians who are more wedded to office than to principle, and though up to the present time, the hands of chastisement have been temporarily stayed, it is not at all because of any display of virtue on the part of the government, but rather from the practice of those methods that will not stand the light of day. I do not desire to go over the mass of figures that have been presented during this debate or to occupy the attention of the House repeating arguments which have been traversed much more a'bly by those who have preceded me, but I will simply say that it is my intention to support the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition and for this reason; the people of this country I claim, are in favour of a government that has the courage of its convictions, and they will have a declaration of policy of some kind. The present government have no declared policy on which to go before the country as to whether they are protectionists or free traders, because they are, as a matter of fact, practising protection while they are preaching free trade and even then their ranks are divided. The people of the country must be at a loss to know to whom to look. Here are the men who are the advisers of His Majesty. One-half of the cabinet are preaching one tariff while the other half of the cabinet are preaching another, while we, as Conservatives, believe, that, situated as we are alongside of the most highly protected country in the world, the United States, with 4,000 miles of a boundary line between this country and that, it is an impossibility, no matter how beautiful the theory may appear, to inaugurate a policy of free trade for this Canada of ours and that unless we have a system of protection for all the industries of this country, not merely for the manufacturing industries, but for the agricultural industry as well, we cannot hope ever to be a thriving nation. It is also true that when we state that we

are in favour of moderate protection, in this country that does not mean that we are going to have very high rates of duties on every article grown or manufactured in Canada. It was not the intention of the designers of the national policy that we would have certain fixed high rates of duty for all time to come, but only until such times as our industries could be placed on a footing to withstand the keen competition offered by the Americans and the keen competition of the world, when they would be able to compete with them not only in our home market, but in the foreign markets as well. There are some articles that I would object to having the duties raised upon, but there are others that if it could be shown that by an increase of duty it is necessary and desirable to keep establishments going in Canada to be operated by our own people these people to be fed by Canadian farmers, then I am in favour of adopting such rates of duty as are necessary for this purpose. But, some hon. gentlemen opposite take the stand that protection is a folly and a farce so far as the agriculturist is concerned and that it is not possible to protect him. It is true that the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce has always taken this position, but surely that hon. gentleman should have taken a lesson from the 17th of September, 1878, when prior to that time, when he was Minister of Finance of Canada, he was approached by one hundred thousand farmers with a petition to parliament asking for agricultural protection, and hie told them that practically they did not know what they were asking for. The result was that he met with condigu punishment when his government went to the country in 1878. It is paying a poor compliment to these farmers who ask for protection to toe told now that they must be so green that they will not burn. Articles that are grown on the farm can be and are being protected. Take as an illustration the protection to pork. Our opponents, when on this side of the House, when the tariff was raised on pork by the Conservative administration asserted that it would be of no benefit to the Canadian farmer. What was the result ? The quantity of American pork which came in to displace so much Canadian pork immediately shrunk in value. The importation did not cease entirely, but It greatly diminished. The market was enlarged for our Canadian farmer, and he was enabled to export a very much larger quantity of his pork thdn he would have been able to do but for this protection. If those hon. gentlemen who say to-day that that protection was of no value, why do they not remove the duty on pork ? What is it kept there for if it is not for protection ? If a duty of 15 cents a bushel on wheat was of no use in Conservative days, why is 12 cents a bushel imposed now 7 If it is of no use as a protection to the farmers, why not remove it ? Why, Sir, the

whole thing shows the absurdity of the statements made by those gentlemen when they say that the farmers cannot be benefited by protection.

For the reasons I have given, it is my intention to support the amendment moved by the hon. leader of the opposition, which amendment will, I believe, commend itself to the intelligence of all right-minded people. We are a country of diverse interests. To-day we may not be a manufacturing country in the west, but we hope in the future to have extensive and profitable manufactures there, and then, Sir, these very same gentlemen who are now decrying protection will be just as ready to cry out in favour of protection.

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LIB

Louis Philippe Demers

Liberal

Mr. L. P. DEMERS (St John and Iberville).

(Translation.) It is on record that in times of old lived nations characterized by their loquacity. From the experience gained in the House of Commons, I daresay that our hon. friends opposite are decidedly Gallic in that respect.

The hon. gentlemen opposite are loud in their denunciations of the government. To their mind the administration is composed of men entertaining conflicting opinions. They lay great stress on the fact that the Liberal party do not entertain the same views on the different questions which engage our attention. I have always held that the progress and development of a country proceeded from a conflict of opinions. Even the Conservatives were sometimes divided amongst themselves, and it ill becomes them to taunt on that score the members occupying seats on this side of the House.

We are told that the Liberal party has no. definite policy, that a change may occur tomorrow, and people are anxious to know what will be the nature of that change.

Let them rest assured that any change that may occur will be beneficial to the interests of this country at large. In 1896, when the Liberal party came into power, after the general elections, their policy well known to the electorate, had received the popular endorsation. Had it not been agreeable to the people, the present administration would not have been then sustained as it has been since.

The hon. mernoer for Marquette (Mr. Roche) said a few moments ago that he was at a loss to understand what was going on. It is well that we should take note of that admission. It is because those gentlemen failed to understand what was going on around them that they were hurled from power, and may they live long in that blissful ignorance.

When one looks up the records of the Conservative administration, it is easily understood why they were driven from power in 1896, and why the people will long keep in office those who were called upon to replace them.

When I hear the hon. members opposite state that our country is prosperous, but that we are indebted for that prosperity to the action of Providence and to the maintenance of their policy, it reminds me of a certain dynasty. Like the Bourbons, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. As much can be said of the hon. members opposite.

It is true that governments cannot control the business of a country nor create prosperity ; but they can largely contribute to developing that prosperity. Thus the government of the day have greatly helped the agriculturists by patronising the cheese and butter industry, by encouraging the trade in eggs and other agricultural produce, in securing for them the markets of Great Britain, thereby causing a large increase of our trade with the mother country. Is it not true that such a result was achieved through the Department of Agriculture so ably presided over by the Hon. Mr. Fisher ?

It may be said : what good purpose can it serve, so long as there is an increase in the national debt 1 In the first instance, we might retort that though we have increased the public debt, we did increase It to a smaller extent than they did, but such an answer would be inadequate ; that would only amount to an argument ad hominem.

We are also taunted with having increased the expenditure. In reply, we could point out to a corresponding increase in the surpluses. If we spent $42,000,000, it is because our revenue amounted to $46,000,000 leaving a surplus of $4,000,000, whereas under Conservative rule, when the public expenditure aggregated $38,000,000, there was a deficit of $4,000,000. Such a retort, good as it may be, would not be altogether conclusive. There is a very simple answer to be made. All those expenditures have been sanctioned by the unanimous vote of this House. Why did not they object to them ; why don't they take exception to these expenditures if they find them exorbitant ? Let them muster up courage and impugn these expenditures if they be as extravagant as represented.

Therefore it must be conceded that these expenditures will benefit the country at large. As not one single Conservative member attempts to denounce them, we have reason to infer therefrom that those expenditures are warrantable. I say it ill becomes the Tory party to take the present government to ask for their administration of public affairs ; because to offer criticism one cannot rely solely upon the increase in the public expenditure. Has not a large concern to spend more than a minor establishment has to ? Does not Canada, a commercial concern, so to speak, transact more business now-a-days than she did when the hon. members opposite had the management of public affairs ? Yes, undoubtedly. However the people will be told that there is

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LIB

Louis Philippe Demers

Liberal

Mr. DEMERS (St. John and Iberville).

no justification for an increase in the expenditure.

Others will say that we have collected too considerable an amount of duties. Well, if such be the case, what then would have been the result had we raised the tariff to suit the wishes of the hon. gentlemen opposite ? If, as they claim, the development of trade, in Canada, were merely due to the action of divine Providence, the trade of tills country would have been equally prosperous under a higher tariff.

The hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Roche) taunted the Liberal party with having impaired the fair name of Canada. If ever the fair name of Canada was imperilled, the hon. member for Marquette should know that it was on account of the numerous scandals by which the government of his friends became famous, and on no other account.

Our trade, Sir, has increased by leaps and bounds, especially our trade with England, and it would be idle to deny that such a result was brought about by the preferential tariff established by the present government.

I know that the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) and the Conservative members in this House have stated that nothing could justify the maintenance of that tariff. First, it seems to me that the conditions have not changed since 1898. when that tariff was first introduced, and it rests upon the hon. member for Labelle, who at that time approved that measure and even delivered a very eloquent speech in its behalf, to show that a change has occurred which justifies the stand he now takes. So far, he has not done so.

The hon. member for Marquette said that the preferential tariff could not benefit England. However, a mere perusal of the English newspapers and of the speeches of public men in Great Britain would convince him that the preferential tariff was looked upon as a gracious act on the part of Canada. Moreover, who will deny that England, a purely industrial country, is largely benefited by the lowering of our tariff ? Besides, that preferential tariff is in accordance with the policy of the Liberal party. '

My hon. friends opposite, in face of a prosperous condition of affairs which cannot be imputed to the sole intervention of Providence, say everywhere on the public platforms : But, you have cheated ns out of our policy ! According to them prosperity was brought on by Providence and by the policy of the Conservative party. But then, if the policy of the Conservative party is responsible for the present prosperous condition of affairs, I shall ask my hon. friends : why do they move an amendment ? Indeed, the motion presented by the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden) states that the operation of the present tariff is unsatisfactory and detrimental to Canada. Therefore it cannot be their policy that we have propounded. There is no way out of it.

We did not cheat them out of their policy. We have adopted that policy to which we were pledged.

The fiscal platform of the Liberal party was propounded as early as 1893, when we pledged ourselves to a fair policy in everything ; we promised to consult all those concerned, and to reconcile all the interests at stake-a very difficult thing to achieve. The east favours a certain policy, while in the west, where there are no manufactures, people are differently inclined. So the government has to blend together these various interests according to the requirements of the case, and of the times. This the government did after conferring with those concerned ; all advantages were equitably balanced without a single interest being sacrificed. That is the reason why before framing a tariff the government conferred with the manufacturers, without fearing the sarcasm of the Conservative party. Should the tariff be readjusted next year, the same process will be adhered to by the administration, without any preconcerted plan or unalterable principle. Nothing will be decided that is not according to the best interests of Canada, and then only after having heard all the interested parties. Is it not a wise policy that can compare favourably with the extravagant statements of the opposition as voiced in the amendment offered to the House ?

Just one word about the preferential tariff. It is said that the English markets are thrown open to all nations, that every country is allowed to trade freely with Great Britain, and that there is no need of a preference. It Is said that England, though her markets are open to our wares, does not intend thereby to confer a favour upon us, for she acts in the same way towards other nations. Should we be grateful only when we know what motives prompted our benefactors ? If any one saved my life, even if it were not out of pure benevolence, am I not bound to be grateful just the same? For my part, I think it is fair and just that we should give a preference to England, for we are at liberty to sell our goods in that country without being asked and without giving anything in return. English goods have to pay a duty of 20 per cent, when imported into Canada ; our wares have nothing to pay in England ; nevertheless, hon. gentlemen opposite are not pleased.

In reply to the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), who stated during the debate that England deserved no favours at our hands, because she did not take advantage of the Bulwer-Clayton treaty, and surrendered our interests in the Alaskan question, I will say that this is a very simple matter. England concluded that treaty for her own sake ; Canada never was, and is not yet, interested in it. Therefore, Great Britain could give up every privilege secured by that treaty without exacting in return any favours for Canada. We have no cause to

complain on that score. Had she been willing, or had she thought it possible, England could have secured advantages for us, but can we reproach her for not having done so ? It should not be said that Canada was sacrificed. I own that it would have been better for us had she exacted certain privileges for Canada ; however, can we reproach her for having thought that charity begins at home, when the question was the abrogation of a treaty in which alone she was interested. Besides, how can we pass judgment, not knowing all the circumstances of the case ? -

The hon. member for Labelle taunted the government for having disallowed the statute respecting Chinese and Japanese immigrants, passed by the legislative^ assembly of British Columbia. I entirely differ from him. The British, empire had an interest in that problem. The matter could not be settled by the provincial legislature. All international matters are within the scope of the imperial authorities interested in the question of ithe treatment of aliens. This was a matter coming under international law. The intervention of the imperial government was therefore fully justified. Through the British authorities our treaties are negotiated, and Great Britain also acts as a go-between in all our negotiations with foreign countries. Who will dare stand up and say that England had no right to suggest to the federal authorities a policy consistent with imperial interests ? The mere mention of these circumstances will show that the Imperial parliament was justified in requesting the Canadian authorities to disallow that law respecting naturalization ? Even according to our constitutional laws, naturalization is a matter within the sole control of the federal parliament here. The British Columbia statute rendered naturalization impossible, and I contend that the federal legislature alone could legislate upon the matter.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier).

(Translation.) Will my hon. friend allow me to say that it was a statute respecting emigration ; that it did not deal with naturalization ?

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LIB

Louis Philippe Demers

Liberal

Mr. DEMERS.

(Translation.) Granted ; but I intended to show that for one to become a British subject, for instance, it is necessary to reside in a province'during three years, and that naturalization was within the exclusive control of the federal parliament.

My hon. friend from Labelle then undertook to establish that, after all, Canada had constantly been exploited by England, without ever receiving anything in return. Such was the purport of his speech. Our forefathers fought for England as early as 1775. But it would not be wise to think that, in 1775, they fought for the sake of Great Britain alone. They took up arms

for their own sake as well as for England's.

By referring to the address of the Americans to the British people on the 5th September, 1774, it will be seen that the war between the mother country and the American colonies was a war in which we were concerned. Let us see how the Americans in that address stated the grievances which brought on the conflict :

And by another Act the Dominion of Canada is to be so extended, modelled, and governed as that by being disunited from us, detached from our interests, by civil as well as religious prejudices, that by their numbers daily swelling with Catholic emigrants from Europe, and by their devotion to administration, so friendly to their religion, they might become formidable to us, and on occasions, be fit instruments in the hands of power, to reduce the ancient free protestant colonies to the true state of slavery with themselves Now can we suppress our astonishment, that a British parliament should ever consent to establish in that country a religion that has deluged our island in blood, and dispersed impiety, bigotry, persecutions, murder and rebellion through every part of the world.

Such was one of the reasons which prompted the American colonists to warn Great Britain that they would shake off her yoke if she did not listen to their petition. Her refusal to accede to their petition was one of the causes of the American revolution. Aow, in 1775, when Canada took part in that war, she was almost exclusively inhabited by men of our own race and blood. Therefore, when we took part in that war Jt was not only for Great Britain that we tought, but we fought also In defence of our own rights.

It was an act of justice on our part to have given a preference to England, and It was also an act of justice on our part to have sent troops in aid of the mother country, out of gratitude also for the benefits she had conferred on ns. Great Britain rendered us justice, in 1867, when she gave us the constitution guaranteeing the rignts of the French Canadians. Lord Carnarvon when_ moving in the British parliament the adoption of that constitution, said that he wished thereby to confirm the treaty entered into by Great Britain at the capitulation of Montreal, and that it was for that purpose that this constitution was granted to Canada. As I said, our rights were guaranteed by that constitution. We, French Canadians, Mr. Speaker, are the most interested m maintaining British connection. uur choice is between British connection and annexation to the United States. There is no other alternative ; , and between the two countries, it is no difficult matter to maiie a choice.

The hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) laughs ; he thinks, no doubt, that our participation in the wars of the empire is a new departure-something unheard of before. Alllow me, Sir, to call attention to some utterances of the hon. gentleman, at

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LIB

Louis Philippe Demers

Liberal

Mr. DEMERS (St. John and Iberville).

Ste. Rose, on the 8th January, as reported by Le Journal :

Did you ever hear of Canada participating in the wars of the Empire, before the coming into power of Mr. Laurier, never. How we came to take part in the South African war, is easily explained. In 1897, before the Transvaal war had broken out, Mr. Laurier went over to England. A few days later, at a banquet in honour of the representatives from the colonies, he delivered a speech in which he pledged his word to the mother country that, should a war break out, let the beacon-lights shine on the heights, let the sound of the bugles be heard and Canada would be ready to contribute soldiers and money.

On the 12th January, at a meeting held at the Bonsecours market, during the contest in the electoral division of St. James, Montreal, the hon. gentleman delivered a speech, which was reported by La Presse, in its issue of the 13th, as follows

The Conservative leader Explained his attitude on the question of the contingents. The question, he said, arose out of Mr. Laurier's famous resolution, approving of the principle of the South African War. But it goes further back ; it originated in Mr. Laurier's visits to England, at the jubilee of the Queen, when, at the. banquet of London, he offered soldiers and money to the mother-country. Canada was hound by that solemn pledge, and when the time came when it should be redeemed, I consider that the honour of the country was pledged, and that it was our duty to stand by the word of the first Minister. That is the reason why Parliament voted without a dissentient voice in favour of the sending of the first contingent. As to Mr. Bourassa's motion, Mr. Monk said that he had not voted in favour of it, because it was only academic.

The hon. gentleman is like the Bourbons, .with this difference, that tlie Bourbons have learned nothing and forgotten nothing ; whereas the hon. gentleman has learned a great many things and has also forgotten many things.

I do not know to what school of thought my hon. friend belongs. Does he belong to the school of Sir .John Macdonald, the leader of the great Conservative party, whose words were received with the greatest respect by the hon. gentlemen opposite ? Sir John had the support of all the civil authorities in the province of Quebec, and it is important that we should know what was the opinion of that statesman, who moulded to a great extent the destinies of his party.

As early as 18G5, during the debates on confederation, when the new constitution was being discussed which Canada was going to adopt, the question of our participation in the wars of the empire came up for discussion, and Sir John Macdonald said: And England will have this advantage, that, though at war with all the resit of the world, she will be able to look to the subordinate nations in alliance with her, and owing allegiance to the same Sovereign who will assist in enabling her again to meet the whole world in arms, as she has done before.

If the hon. gentleman is no admirer of Sir John Macdonald, I am sure he must be an

on that question, there is no reason to fear that the coming conference of London will be fraught with such dangers as some people think it may invite.

As to the question of colonial representation, when it came up for discussion in the British parliament, Mr. Blake, on a motion of Mr. Sinclair, said : ' Why should the colonies be represented here, were it not for the purpose of being taxed ? ' In these few words, Mr. Blake spoke the whole truth.

I consider that imperialism would result in the downfall of the empire. For, when our people will have to increase their burdens, to share in the expenditure of England's wars, they will not hesitate, like the other colonies, to sever the colonial tie. When, prior to the war with the United States, Lord North tried to bring about the unity of the empire by drawing closer the ties which bound the colonies to the mother country, what was the result ? The result was that England lost her best American colonies.

To sum up, I may say that the province of Quebec considers that our participation in the present war was but an act of justice on the part of Canada towards Great Britain, and that for us, French Canadians, it was an act of gratitude, a manifestation of good-will towards the imperial government.

We are proud to be British subjects because of the political rights conferred by that title, and there is no man among us who, when he goes abroad, does not feel happy to say, like the Roman of old : ' I am a Bt'ltlsh subject.' However, that feeling is by no means inconsistent with our love for our old mother country.

I heard an lion, gentleman on the other side of the House express his surprise at the fact that the lion. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) had stated in Paris that we were French, and that we would remain French. On that occasion, the hon. minister only voiced the feeling entertained by all his fellow-countrymen of French extraction. Is it not true that our fellow-countrymen, the Irish, are proud to call themselves Irish, loyal as they are to the British Crown ? So, we glory in our French extraction, and we are and shall always be proud to say that we will remain French, loyal subjects of Great Britain as we are. Why should people try to do away with our race by a process of assimilation? In Canada are to be found the descendants of the strongest races which now sway the world. Here are to be found Englishmen. Scotchmen, Irishmen, Germans and Frenchmen, all of them called upon to develop this immense country, and to display their intelligence in the construction of our great public works, in the development and the extension of our industries, in the cultivation of letters, sciences and arts. Let the different elements try to outstrip each other in those fields of human activity, avoiding all causes of friction, so that we may grow Mr. DEMERS (St. John and Iberville). ,

up and prosper alongside the great neighbouring republic.

As to the province of Quebec, I make bold to say that so long as we enjoy the same sum of protection as we are now enjoying under the British flag, so long as our rights are respected, none among us will ever dream of annexation to the American republic. I am confident that Canada will remain loyal to Great Britain, and that, as Sir Etienne P. Tache said : ' The last gun in defence of the British flag on this continent will be fired by a French Canadian. As the future grows out of the past, our past conduct is a guarantee of our future conduct.

So long as Great Britain respects that constitution under the aegis of which we have been enabled to live in freedom, and to preserve the sacred inheritance of our laws, our language and our religion, England may depend upon it that we shall always be ready to assist her, and to stand by her. So long as the other provinces deal fairly with the province of Quebec, so long as they keep their hands off; the constitution, every French Canadian, loyal as he is to his province, will place the love of Canada above all the rest.

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CON

Alphonse Alfred Clément LaRivière

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. C. LARIVIEUE. (Provencher).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I have to congratulate the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Demers), 'because he has succeeded in turning into a patriotic speech what was, at the outset, but a mere array of figures. He began by referring to the changes brought about by the elections of 1896, a result which he attributes to the misdeeds of the former government, who had to bow to the popular verdict, after those elections. I think the least that will be said about what transpired during that gigantic struggle, at a time when the Conservative government, prompted by a most noble feeling, and championing the cause of a downtrodden people, had lost their prestige with an ill-informed! electorate, whereas their opponents did not hesitate to make political capital out of that question ; the least that will 'be said about those elections, the better [DOT] it will be for the honour of their party.

My hon. friend from St. John and Iberville (Mr. Demers) undertook to call in question the action of Divine Providence in bringing about the prosperity which Canada is now enjoying and he gave the fiscal policy of his party credit for that prosperity. As I did not rise in my place in this House to vindicate Providence,

I enter my protest against that kind of spoliation the hon. member is guilty of, when he denies Providence all credit for the great prosperity which prevails not only in this country but throughout the world.

Let my hon. friend allow me at least to tell him that he might have adduced some proofs in support of his contention. He should have substantiated his statement that the prosperity we are enjoying was

due to the action of the government. Now. I should like to know what changes the government have made in their fiscal policy to bring about such a result. I do not know of any. True, they have, a few years ago, readjusted their tariff to a certain extent; but those changes amount to so little that it is not reasonable to contend that the prosperity we are now enjoying has resulted from such changes. On the other hand, if we take into consideration the course pursued by the government as to their past pledges, we have to reach the conclusion that they have not redeemed their pledges. Formerly, the country was suffering from a commercial depression ; and we had our lean years, compared with the fat years we are now enjoying. That the Liberal party, with the political platform adopted by them in 1893. can now claim that the prosperous state of the country is the outcome of the enforcement of the principles formulated in that platform, is more than I can understand.

If we take the different articles of that creed-and I may say that, not unlike other creeds, it ought to be revised from time to time-we shall find that the first article stated that it was high time for a change in the fiscal policy of the country. They denounced the Conservative government, because their policy, as they said, was one of protection to our industries and to all classes of the community. The hon. gentlemen said : It shall be the duty of the next government, when coming into power, to adopt as their fiscal policy a revenue tariff, for the efficient management of public affairs. The question is. whether the hon. gentlemen opposite have carried out that first article of the programme framed by them in 1893. To show that the very opposite was the case, it will suffice to see what was our public debt in 1896, as compared with what it is now. In 1896. the public debt was $258,497,432,77. In 1901, the last fiscal year officially accounted for, that debt had reached $268,480,003.69, or an increase of $9,982,570.92.

Now, my hon. friend from St. John and Iberville (Mr. Demers) told us, this evening, that the present government always had surpluses, and that, if they had spent forty millions, it was because they had forty millions to spend. But how can it be claimed that the government has had a surplus every year since their advent to power, when, as a matter of fact, the public debt has been increased by over two million dollars a year, and to such an extent that it is now ten million dollars larger than it was in 1896 ? And did not the hon. Minister of Finance tell us on the floor of this House, the other day, that, next year, the public debt would be increased by six million dollars ? That is a larger increase than has ever taken place under Conservative rule, if we except the period during which was being built the Canadian Pacific Railway. Never was such

a result reached before. Now, we are paying $10,807,955 interest on the public debt, or $305,525 more than was the case in 1896. How, then, can hon. gentlemen opposite give this government credit for being more economical in the expenditure of public moneys than were their predecessors in office ?

The public revenue is much more considerable now than it was in 1896, and this means that the rate of taxation has increased. From 1892 to 1896, for the five years which have elapsed between those two dates, the total revenue was $138,106,054, or an average of $27,621,211.

From 1897 to 1901, for the first five years under Liberal rule, the revenue was $170,168,924, or an increase of $34,033,785, Therefore, we find that for those five years the average increase was $6,412,574.

In the face of such an increased revenue, the expenditure was considerably increased. Instead of increasing their expenditure, they should have applied those surpluses to reducing the public debt. But the reverse was the case, and notwithstanding that, from 1892 to 1896, the total expenditure was $210,708,819, or, on an average, $42,141,764, on the other hand, the expenditure from 1897 to 1901, during the first five years under Liberal rule, was $250,550,005, or, on an average, $50,110,001, or about eight million dollars a year. So, as will be seen, Mr. Speaker, the surpluses referred to by my hon. friend from St. John and Iberville are quite ephemeral, as they have already vanished, and as the public debt itself has been increased to the same extent.

I now come to the second article of the political creed of 1893. The hon. gentlemen pledged their word to the people that, upon their coming into power, they would give us reciprocity with the United States. They said : ' Within six months from our advent to power, by a scratch of the pen, a treaty of reciprocity will be put in force between Canada and the United States. As to you, Conservatives, you have so unfairly treated the citizens of the neighbouring republic that you cannot expect to come to an understanding with them ; but, as to us Liberals, it is quite another matter : we have always treated them so liberally-and heaven knows if our good friends, the Liberals, have ever been on friendly terms with the Americans -that should we ever come into office, we shall be able to make a good treaty with the United States.'

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK.

(Translation.) Hear, hear.

Mr. LaRIVIERE. (Translation.) What happened 1 The Liberals made several attempts, but they relied too much upon the friendship of the Americans. They hau fancied that they would be received with open arms. A joint commission was appointed. We all know how things have turned out. The president of the commission died in the

attempa ; another member, the most distinguished representative on the American side, is also gone to his reward, the commission has discontinued sitting, and the question is now whether they are going to wait till all the other members have joined the majority, before calling another meeting of the commission. In short, they have finally come to the conclusion-and we have the admission made the other day by the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) to that effect-that the question was no longer a live issue. They have given up all hopes of ever having a treaty with the United States. What the hon. member for North Norfolk is now advocating is a policy of reprisals. He said : Uet us endeavour to come to an understanding with our neighbours ; let us try to induce them to bring down their tariff to the level of our own tariff, and should they decline to do so, we shall have no other expedient left but to raise our tariff to the level of then- own. Such is the policy suggested by one of the most eminent members of the commission, who was formerly so conspicuous for his friendship towards the Americans, that he was styled the hon. member from the United States.

The third article of the celebrated programme of 1893 provided for a reduction in the expenditure, and a policy of retrenchment ; but as I have just shown, that article remained a dead letter ; their pledges as to the reduction in the expenditure was never redeemed ; on the contrary, we shall be called upon to vote subsidies double those voted prior to 1896.

The fourth article referred to the enormity of the public debt. This is another article of their creed to which our friends, the Liberals, have proved false. As a matter of fact, the public debt is increasing in an alarming ratio, and the hon. Minister of Finance told us the other day that he would have to borrow six millions to meet the most pressing requirements.

The fifth article of the Liberal creed advocated the necessity of investigating the management of public affairs. We all know the result of the investigations held by the hon. gentlemen opposite. It is on record that during last parliament we asked for investigations, and that nothing was done in that direction. During this session, when we insisted in a committee of this House, that a substantial witness should be called! the government would not comply with our request. Now, in article 5 of the programme of 1893, in connection with investigations into the administration of public affairs, it is expressly stated that such investigations are a necessity.

In article 6, it is stated that the public domain should be preserved for the settlers. Well, Sir, there have perhaps been more grants made, in aid of the construction of railways, since the present government has

Mr. LaBIVIERE.

come into power than at any time under the Conservative government. Have they preserved the public domain for the settlers ? Far from it, and things have come to such a pass that there are very few lands available for settlement now. As a matter of fact, immigrants, when they come to settle down in this country, have to apply to the railway companies for lands. Article 8 refers to the redistribution of seats, an operation which is known under the name of gerrymander, so as to describe a redistribution made with a view to favouring one party to the prejudice of the other party. The Liberals gave the solemn pledge that they would not resort to a gerrymander. We shall see, next session, to what an extent the government is going to redeem that pledge.

Article 9 is in reference to the reform of the Senate. How the government have made their appointments to the Senate is a matter of public notoriety. It is well known that those very Senators-whom hon. gentlemen opposite had formerly delighted in calling mischievous old men-have been replaced in the Upper House by young men who, for the most part, are quite harmless. At the present time they think they are about to have a majority in the Senate, and everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds ; so that nothing is heard about Senate reform.

Article 10 relates to the plebiscite and prohibition. That plebiscite has cost the country a large sum of money, without having given us any practical results worth mentioning. And now the provinces are endeavouring to get rid of the prohibition issue. The province of Manitoba has just taken the lead in the matter, and the province of Ontario is preparing to follow in the footsteps of the former ; but as to the federal government, they have done nothing so far, besides incurring an expenditure of $200,000 to find out that there were in the country teetotallers unwilling to vote in favour of a prohibitive legislation.

I do not intend to follow my hon. friend from St. John and Iberville when he deems it his duty tp lecture the hon. member for Labelle. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Bourassai almost occupies the next seat to his ; they both belong to the same party, and the differences which may crop up between them are family matters. Now, in family matters no stranger should venture to interfere. Therefore, I shall refrain from offering any comments upon the opinions expressed by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Demers) as to the position taken by his colleague. Besides, I might possibly entertain the same views as the hon. gentleman on certain points, while as to others I might differ from him. There is this, however, to remark, that when referring to imperialism, he told us in the same breath that there should not be too much of it, and that there should be enough of it. That means,

no doubt, that my hon. friend is on the fence, and that he is ready to jump over to whichever side will prove the most suitable to hiitm and ,to his political party.

My hon. l'rind (Mr. Demers) also told us that the discussion now raging in some newspapers on the question of imperialism was merely got up to frighten the people. But 1 should like to know who first started the debate ; for.it is by no means of receut growth. That discussion has long been raging throughout the country, and I remember perfectly well that a few years ago the Liberal papers used to upbraid the hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) because he was vice-president of the Imperialist League of Toronto. The hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Tarte) was a Conservative at the time, and he was denounced by the Liberal papers. The Liberal press, besides, always held that the tendencies of the Conservative party were imperialistic.

Let us now come to the question of the contingents. We are told to-day that the government is denounced by such or such a paper, or by certain political men, for having sent contingents to South Africa in defence of the empire. Who was it that first started agitating the public mind about that question ? Let us go back to the elections of 1896. The Liberals then went about the country telling the people that the Conservative government had secured from the House an appropriation of one million dollars to buy rifles and guns, and that they meant to send our children to South Africa to be butchered there. I could name some hon. gentlemen who now occupy seats in this House and who were the first to resort to such means to bring about the defeat of the Conservative party in the province of Quebec. Now, if at the present time Conservative politicians denounce the government for their double game on that question, it is to show how inconsistent the Liberals are, since they approve to-day of the very same thing which they blamed us for yesterday. Not that we mean to censure the government for their action in this matter, but we mean to show that the government has pursued a double-faced policy in this respect. When they began agitating the question of sending out soldiers to Soutli Africa, the hon. gentlemen told us : That cannot be done, for it is against the law. And * La Patrie,' of Montreal, plainly told us that it would never be done.

A great deal has been said, during this debate, about the tariff, and my hon. friend from St. John and Iberville ventured to give some statistics on the matter. Before resuming my seat, I may be allowed to say a few words on the same subject.

I entirely approve of the motion made by the hon. leader of the opposition, and here is the ground on which I think it is worthy of approval : it is not stated in the motion that, to our mind, the tariff is not high enough in a general way, but that it is not

so framed as to secure an adequate protection to all, and so as to distribute the taxes equally among all classes of the community. In fact, the question is not merely how to protect and promote the interests of the various industries of this country, but to extend also protection to other important classes of the community ; and one of the classes which it is most essential to protect is the farming community.

It was with a view to fostering the interests of that class, that the Conservative government, in 1894, reduced the tariff on agricultural implements from 35 to 20 per cent. It is true that the present government did not interfere with that portion of the tariff, that is to say, they did neither reduce nor increase the rate of 20 per 100 ; but they have succeeded, indirectly, in increasing the valuation of articles coming from the United States, so as to increase the tariff, and this, to such a point that, instead of having a rate of 20 per 100, farmers have to pay 25 per 100 on all agricultural implements coming from the United States, owing to the appraisement made by the government officials, under a peremptory order. Therefore, the tariff has practically been increased in this respect. That this is the case is known by the fact that, when one of my colleagues on this side of the House asked the hon. Minister of Customs for the production of the schedule of valuation, the minister refused to produce it, on the plea that it was a confidential paper, .which could not properly be made public. This goes to show that the rate has been increased on agricultural implements.

There is something more, and the difference now existing between the American tariff and the Canadian tariff is detrimental to the farming community. So, wheat in the United States is taxed 25 cents a bushel, while here it pays a duty of 12 cents a bushel. Last year only, we imported from the United States one million dollars' worth of oats. This quantity of oats could have been raised here by our farmers, and we have imported it from the United States, having had to pay a duty of 10 cents, notwithstanding that the United States do not buy any from us.

Barley has to pay a duty of 30 cents in the United States, while it pays only 12 cents a bushel here. Our imports of barley reach the sum of thirty thousand dollars. On peas there is a duty of 40 cents a bushel in the United States, while here it is only 10 cents. Last year we imported fifteen thousand dollars' worth of peas. Hay has to pay $4 a ton, while we impose but a duty of $2 on the hay imported from the United States. There is a duty of 25 cents a bushel on potatoes in the United States ; here it is only 15 cents. Our imports of potatoes from the United States last year were $90,-

000. It is so much agricultural produce that our farmers do not sell in the country, and it shows how they are made to suffer

under the odious tariff which the government refuses to change or to alter.

I could single out a great many other farm products, but to go through the whole list would take too long. In short, in 1900 we have bought from the United States $25,700,000 worth of farm produce and cattle. That money, which went into the pockets of the Americans for articles which could have been raised here, we should have kept it, had we had a tariff so framed as to protect us from the competition of the United States.

During the same year, we imported manufactured articles from the United States to the extent of $65,000,000. And while we were importing $25,700,000 worth of agricultural products from the United States, the Americans only bought from us similar articles to the value of about $8,000,000, leaving a difference in their favour of $17,000,000, to the great detriment of our farming community.

Let us now see how we fared as to our exports of butter, cheese, eggs, lard and meat. Our imports from the United States amounted to $2,257,183, while they bought from us only to the extent of $116,353 worth of those articles.

That is the way, Sir, that the interests of our farming community are hurt by the American trade. While our manufacturers are enjoying the protection of a tariff, readjusted with more or less care, our fanners have no protection at till. The manufacturing cities go to tile United States for their supply of farm produce, to the detriment of our own farmers.

By the motion which we have offered in amendment to that of the hon. Minister of Finance, we declare that the tariff now in force is ill readjusted and does not adequately meet the requirements of the country ; that it needs to be revised, so as to give a more efficacious protection to the working classes, and mainly to the farming community.

I say that the policy which is formulated in the amendment now before the House is the true national policy, and to borrow the words used by my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr.' Monk), that policy means : Canada for the Canadians. Such is the policy that we wish to see adopted and carried out.

My hon. friend from St. John and Iberville-to return once more to his statements, which have engrossed my attention to a pretty large extent so far-referred in quite sentimental terms to our duty to Great Britain, without entering into the consideration of business matters. As to that, I may say that my views quite coincide with his ; but when it comes to the discussion of our commercial relations, I no longer side with him. To talk about protection and of what we owe to England is one thing, and to discuss business matters is quite another matter. After all, business is business.

Mr. LaRIVIERE.

The hon. gentleman told us that it was our duty to give British goods a preferential treatment ; that we owed it to Great Britain to give her that mark of sympathy, on account of the many compensations we had already received, but I cannot see eye to eye with him on that point. As I said, business is business, and politics is politics. Out of the 168,900 tons of butter imported into Great Britain in 1900, Canada has supplied but 12,000 tons. It cannot be said that our standing on the British markets has been improved by the preferential policy. In 1901 Great Britain bought from us but 7,500 tons of butter ; notwithstanding the fact that we have an output of 130,000 tons in this country.

Cheese ranks among our most valuable products, and is consequently deserving of every protection at our hands. Whatever the hon. gentleman may say to the contrary, if that industry has developed in such a wonderful way in Canada, the credit for it cannot be claimed by the present government, as they have only carried out the work undertaken by the old government, and followed in the footsteps of their predecessors. Nor can it be said that they have dogged the footsteps of the old government, because the late administration had provided for the establishment of a fast steamship service, from which service, had it been maintained, would have accrued most substantial advantages to this country. Far from doing that, the present government, with one scratch of the pen, did set aside the contract which had been signed, saying : We can do better than that, and we are going to draw up another contract. It is on record how many troubles our lamented colleague, Mr. Dobell, did experience with his bottle-nosed ships. At the present time, we stand exactly in the same position as we stood in 1896. We have no system of fast Atlantic service yet, despite the fact that from every chamber of commerce, and from every railway corporation, are coming loud appeals for the organisation of this Atlantic service.

Hon. gentlemen opposite claim credit for all the development and progress realized by the country within the last few years, and they refuse to allow any share of it to Divine Providence. That the government cannot rightly claim credit for the prosperity which the country is now enjoying, goes without saying.

What we press upon the attention of the government is the desirability of taking under their most serious consideration the question of an adequate protection to be given to the farming community and to the manufacturing classes. What we press again upon their attention Is this, that they should have a well defined policy ; for, of all things that contribute to expose trade to disturbances and to paralyse industry, the worst of all is uncertainty as to the features of the fiscal policy of the country.

The sooner the government will have adopted some well defined course of action, and allayed the anxiety of business men who are awaiting the action of the government, the better it will be for the country at large. And as prosperity and depression come by cycles ; as, in the course of time, the lean years are wont to come after the fat years, I hope that the government, being mindful of the future, will give us a well defined and fixed policy, so framed as to afford protection to our manufacturing classes, and mainly to the farming community, which is the bone and sinews of the country, and deserving of every encouragement, both at the hands of the government and of this House. Let us, therefore, join hands to make of this Canada of ours a prosperous country and one in which all will feel happy to dwell.

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?

The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (Hon. Sydney A. Fisher).

Mr. Speaker,' in view of the lateness of the hour, I will not attempt to-night to address to the House the few remarks which I have to make on this question. I move the adjournment of the debate.

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Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned. On motion of the Minister of Finance, House adjourned at 11.20 p.m.



Friday, April 4, 1902.


April 3, 1902