Mr. JOHN CHARLTON (North Norfolk).
Before you leave the Chair, I desire to refer briefly to a matter of some importance to the country. I shall do so without making any motion in reference to the subject. I refer to the export of nickel from Canada.
This country, for fifteen years, has been the chief source of supply of nickel for the world. The business has been managed by our American friends in such a way that they have derived nearly all the advantages that could be obtained from the extensive and lucrative business of refining nickel and converting it into finished products. The American policy as regards the nickel industry is to admit the matte or refined ore free of duty, and to impose a very heavy duty upon the refined nickel, that duty amounting to $120 pel. ton. The result has been that our nickel deposits have been worked by the companies owning the mines in Canada, and the matte has been exported to the United States and refined there, giving to that country a very lucrative business. But the policy we have permitted the United States to pursue towards us in this matter is one that certainly has not been conducive to our own interests. The use of nickel promises to be increased, and therefore the control of the industry will be one of much greater importance in the near future than it has been up to the present. The manufacture of nickeliferous-pig iron will play a very important part in the manufacturing operations in connection with nickel in the very near future. Nickel is not only essential in the manufacture of armour plate, but it can be used to great advantage in material for bridges, in material for buiiu-ing, in fact for material for structural purposes generally ; and the control of the business will be a matter of great importance to whatever country obtains it. The United States capitalists and business men are quite wide awake to the advantages to be derived from the control of this business, and, within a few days a great nickel company has been formed in the United States entitled the International Nickel Company which is operating in connection with, and is largely controlled by the American Steel Corporation, commonly known as the Steel Trust. This new company I see by the ' Engineering and Mining Journal ' of April 5, was incorporated in the week of that issue of the ' Journal.' I will read one or two paragraphs from the article on this subject:
The International Nickel Company, which was organized this week in1 New Jersey, is the resuit of the plans to consolidate and control the nickel production of the world, to which reference has been made in1 our columns1 heretofore. The plan was originated by Colonel R. M. Thompson, president of the Orford Copper Company, and has been carried through chiefly by his efforts, that he has had recently the aid of Mr. Schwab, of the United States Steel Corporation and Colonel J. R. De Le Mar.
The purchase of the stock of the Nickel Corporation, Limited, from its London owners was one of the steps towards the present consolidation. The case of that company, which owns valuable concessions in New Caledonia, has already been dismissed in the 'Journal.'