April 17, 1903

OFFICIAL REPORT OF DEBATES.

LIB

Joseph Alexandre Camille Madore

Liberal

Mr. J. A. C. MADORE (Hochelaga).

(Translation). I present the third report of the Select Standing Committee appointed to supervise the Official Report of the Debates of the House during the present session, which is as follows

Your committee recommend that the sum of $250, being the equivalent of a gratuity of two months' salary, usually allowed to widows of officials under the Civil Service Act, shall be

paid to the widow of the late N. H.. Beaulieu, who, during his life-time, was a member of the staff of translators of the Official Report of the Debates.

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FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 110) respecting the Canadian Northern Railway Company.-Mr. Davis. Bill (No. Ill) respecting the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway Company.-Mr. Oliver-by Mr. McCreary. Bill (No. 112) to incorporate the Canada Industrials Corporation (Limited).-Mr. McCarthy-by Mr. Thompson (Haldimand). Bill (No. 113) to incorporate the Sault St. Louis Light and Power Company.-Mr. Campbell. Bill (No. 114) respecting the Nipissing and James Bay Railway Company.-Mr. Mc-Cool-by Mr. Erb.


WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.


The House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of the Hon. Mr. Fielding : That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee to consider of the Ways and Means for raising the Supply to be granted to His Majesty.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Mr. Speaker, I must in the first place congratulate my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) on the very excellent speech from his standpoint which he delivered yesterday. That the hon. gentleman always makes the best of the situation we will all acknowledge, and while yesterday he had even a larger number than usual of very sharp corners to turn, he on the whole accomplished it as well as could be expected. And, whenever he did upset he gathered himself up quickly again and he went on in as smiling a way as ever. Now, while the speech was received by the House in a very appreciative and attentive manner, I was astonished to see what a singularly soparific effect so good a speech had on some of his colleagues. I noticed that there was not the attention given to it by some of the members of the cabinet which we might have reasonably expected. In fact, I do not think that I have ever before witnessed in this House a budget speech of interest) delivered while four of the Finance Minister's colleagues were sound asleep; and one of them enjoyed it so much that he woke up at six o'clock to protest against the debate being adjourned.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

My hon. friend the Finance Minister congratulates the country upon its prosperity. We. on, this side of the House, shall not be behind hand in

congratulating the country upon the prosperous conditions at present existing', and ill that respect we offer a somewhat differ-rent spectacle to that which was presented in days past, by the Liberals when in opposition, some of whom were good enough to offer net only to this country but to the mother country a style of literature which was found very useful indeed by American immigration agents.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The Minister of Finance did not quite so strenuously as on some past occasions argue that our prosperity is due to the government, he treats of that phase in very moderate terms indeed. In fact, the terms of liis speech hi that regard are in very strong contrast to a recent deliverance of the Minister of Marine (Hon. Mr. Prefoutaine) in Montreal in which he remarked that the prosperity of Canada was entirely due to the Fielding tariff. Coming from a gentleman of the position of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, that was hardly a worthy statement -it partakes more of the character of a patent medicine advertisement than of the utterance which we might hope to hear from a gentleman occupying the high position of head of one of the departments of state in Canada. It is perfectly evident that in the view of the Minister of Marine, the right hon. Mr. Chamberlain has taken an entirely erroneous view of the condition of affairs in Canada. At the recent colonial conference Mr. Chamberlain referring to the prosperity of Canada and the increase of Canada's trade from 1890 to 1902 spoke in this way :

The total imports ot Canada increased in that period 14,500,000 pounds sterling, or at the rate of 62 per cent. That shows the enormous increased prosperity in the Dominion ; it shows how the energy of its inhabitants is developing its trade.

And when you come to think of it, 1 suppose some credit is due to the business capacity and energy of the people of this country. For my part 1 have never been able to find out the exact nature of the changes in the tariff of 1897 to which the prosperity of Canada during the past few years has been due. I have inquired as to that across the floor of the House on a great many occasions and I have never got a definite or satisfactory reply. I believe that the people of Canada are entitled to some of the credit for the Increased trade and the increased prosperity of this country during the past six years, although it is quite true that speakers on the other side of the House, both in this Chamber and throughout the country affect to believe in an entirely different reason for our prosperity. If the government does not adopt my view on this question; if their friends do not adopt that view; if they do not agree Mr. BOKDBN (Halifax).

with the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) who said that the prosperity of Canada was due to causes beyond the control of any government; if they do not believe in that, then Sir, they are altogether too modest, because while they have increased the trade of Canada by $184,000,000 since 1890, look what the Fielding tariff lias done for the world. The following table shows how the trade of other countries has increased during the same period.

Increase.

1896 to 1902, Great Britain $800,000,0001896 to 1902, United States

700,000,0001896 to 1900, New South Wales

60,000,0001896 to 1900, Victoria

35,000,0001896 to 1900, New Zealand

35,000,0001896 to 1900, Australian Commonwealth

145,000,0001896 to 1900, West Australia

20,000,0001896 to 1900, Argentine

40,000,0001896 to 1900, Chili

134,680.0001896 to 1900, France

680,000,0001896 to 1901, Germany

552,000,0001896 to 1901, Mexico

40,000,0001896 to 1902, Canada

184,885,084

I do not suppose, speaking in sober reality, that any of these gentlemen across the floor claim that the increases in these different countries fire due to the tariff brought down in 1897 by the Hon. Mr. Fielding. But may it not be truly claimed with regard to these different countries, that the advent of the Canadian Liberals to power in 1896 is as much responsible for the improved condition of trade in the whole civilized world as for the prosperous condition which fortunately has prevailed in Canada from 1896 t>

1902.

Let me make one more observation to my hon. friend the Finance Minister. He seems to take it for granted that as the imports to this country have increased to an enormous extent since 1896, we are to find in that a necessary indication of prosperity. Sir, I take issue with my hon. friend on that point. I say that increased imports may accompany but do not necessarily indicate increased prosperity. Look at the condition of affairs in Canada to-day. We produce from $750,000,000 to $800,000,000 of manufactured goods, counting everything as a manufacture in the production of which motive power is employed. The long delayed census returns have not yet furnished us with a statement of the annual value of our agricultural products. If our home production should be decreased by $50,000,000 in any year, that might result in increasing our importations by twenty-five, thirty or forty million dollars. To this extent the manufactures and products which are now furnished by the Canadian people would be brought in from foreign countries. Would not my hon. friend the Minister of Finance stand up in the House and point to the increased revenue resulting from that condition of things and say : Look, the trade of Canada has Increased, not $184,000,000, but

$225,000,000, and our surplus is not $13,000,000, but $25,000,000. And yet, is there any hon. gentleman in this House who would say that such a statement would indicate a healthy condition of affairs in this country ?

.My hon. friend has gone very fully into what I may call the business returns of this country, and I will endeavour, in my figures I give to the House, not to duplicate those which he has furnished. I have some documents to present in a tabulated form, and, with the permission of the House, I will follow the example of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, and hand them to the reporters without reading them in full.

In the good old days, when my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) led the attack on the fiscal policy of the government of the day, there were great laments over the burden of taxation imposed upon the people of this country. My hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce was very warm indeed on that point ; he was more than warm, Mr. Speaker, he was almost tearful when he spoke of the sorrows of the farmers and the burden of taxation laid upon them by an extravagant and corrupt government. 1 will present to the House a comparison of the taxation during the past six years with that of the previous six years under Conservative administration ; because I think it is right, when statements of large trade and abundant revenues are laid before the House, that we in the opposition should show the reverse side of the shield.

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TOTAL RECEIPTS FROM TAXES.


1891.. . . ..$30,314,151 1897.. . . ..$28,648,6261892.. . . .. 28,446,157 1898.. . . .. 29,576,4561893.. . . .. 29,321,367 1899.. . . .. 34,958,0691894.. . .. 27,579,203 1900.. . .. 38,242,2231895.. . . .. 25,446,199 1901.. . . .. 38,743,5501896.. . . .. 27,759,285 1902.. . . .. 43,389,112$168,866,362 $213,558,036 In 1891 taxation under Conservative government was $30,314,151 In 1896 taxation under Conservative government was 27,759,285 Decrease under Conservative government 2,554,866 In 1902 taxation under Liberal government was $43,389,112 In 1896 taxation under Conservative government was 27,759,285 Increased taxation under Liberal government $15,629,827 Total taxes collected from 1897 to 1902 inclusive under Liberal government $213,558,036 Total taxes collected from 1891 to 1896 inclusive under Conservative government 168,866,362 Increased taxation in six years of Liberal government $44,691,674 Average annual taxation during six years of present Liberal government $35,593,006 Average annual taxation during last six years of Conservative government 28,144,394 Average annual increase under Liberal government $7,448,612 I might point out to my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce, as a culmination of this statement, that according to the estimate of the hon. Minister of Finance we shall have imposed on the people of Canada during the present year no less than $47,520,160 of taxation. My hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce when he contemplates these figures, should really, for very decency's sake, pump up a few of the briny tears which he shed in the old days. A few years ago the hon. gentleman contributed a very strong article to the 1 North American Review ' on the subject of protection and free trade, in which he said : In 1878, the actual taxation of Canada was $17,841,938, though, as there was a deficit in that year, the necessary taxation might be placed at $19,000,000. In 1889 the actual taxation was $30,613,522, being an increase of $11,613,522. Let us pursue the comparison. In 1896 the actual taxation was $27,759,285, in 1902 it was $43,389,112 ; being an increase of $15,629,S27, or considerably more than fifty per cent of an increase. What was the comment of the hon. gentleman when he wrote this article on the melancholy condition of affairs in 1889 : Comment is hardly necessary, nor, indeed, does space permit me to point out the enormous mischiefs which result in a young and poor country from absorbing so large a proportion of the earnings of the people, in defraying the charges of the federal government, as is now being taken in Canada. Well, if no comment was needed then, is it not needed now, upon an increase in taxation of between $15,000,000 and $16,000,000 in six years ? I trust that when the hon. gentleman comes to address the House on this occasion lie will give his views on the question of taxation, and explain wherein they differ from the views he held at the time he wrote this article. I referred to this same article last year or the year before, but my right hon. friend was not good enough to make any allusion to it, in the speech he then addressed to the House. I thought I might possibly have been mistaken in the identity of the gentleman who wrote the article. Although it purported to have been written by one Sir Richard John Cartwright, it might possibly have been some other gentleman than my right hon. friend who occupies the position of Minister of Trade and Commerce. There is another consideration which I would like to present to the House. If, as members of the government claim, the pre-



sent tariff is a revenue tariff, why is the taxation continued at so abnormal a figure ? Why does the government take from the people, for example, $1,000,000 more in excise duties ou tobacco and $500,000 more in customs duties on sugar than would have been taken under the tariff before 1896 ? And why does the Minister of Finance retain the duty on breadstuff's which he regarded as so unjust and oppressive that while premier of Nova Scotia he moved the following resolution with regard to it: That while it is as a rule inexpedient to deal with Dominion questions in this House, in view of the obnoxious character of the duty on breadstuffs, the House must firmly protest against the imposition of such duties. And the same view was entertained by the Minister of Trade and Commerce who, referring to Sir Leonard Tilley's surplus in 1882, said : I asked how it was got. $1,100,000 was derived from two of the most odious and oppressive taxes which were ever imposed in any civilized country before, under similar circumstances at least, the taxes on breadstuffs and fuel. If he really wants to relieve the people, let him remove the taxes on breadstuffs and coal. My hon. friend the. Minister of Trade and Commerce sits unmoved in his chair while a surplus of $13,000,000 is announced in this House, and forgets the commiseration he expressed some years ago for the condition of the people of this country labouring under two of the most odious and oppressive taxes which were ever imposed in any civilized country. Now, Mr. Speaker, the revenues have indeed been abundant during the past six years. There has been an increase of more than $60,000,000 over those of the previous six years, but let my hon. friend the Minister of Finance bear in mind that if the duties on tobacco, sugar, coal and breadstuffs had been removed, the condition of affairs would be very different. If my hon. friend had the courage to carry out his financial convictions, his boasted surplus would not exist by a good many millions. In making this point I do not wish to be understood as advocating the removal of the duties on these articles, but as merely contrasting the present position taken by the Minister of Finance with the former professions of himself and colleagues and asking them at present what they have to say about those promises and professions made in days gone by. I think I am warranted in putting that question by the language used by my hon. friend the Minister of Finance. I have here a statement of his views with regard to the pledges and promises of public men, which I think will commend itself to the judgment of the House : If a public man can hold one set of principles out of office and another set in office, responsible government is a farce. You have the right to hold the politician to his pledge, just as much as you would the man Mr. BORDEN (Halifax). of business. The man who obtains goods from you under false pretenses is a cheat and swindler. What should you call the men who obtain votes by means of pledges which they never intended to keep ? I say again, if you are prepared to overlook these things then you have no right to ask for fidelity from any man who hereafter represents you. I credit these words to my hon. friend the Minister of Finance. I am told that he uttered them in days gone by. But whether he uttered them or not, I do not think he will challenge their soundness, and I ask him to apply those words to the record of himself and his political friends during the past six years as contrasted with the promises and professions which they held out to the people during the eighteen years they were in opposition. The total expenditure of the country is a matter about which, standing on this side of the House, I think I should have a word to say. The total expenditure during the six years, beginning with 1891 and ending with 1896, reached the sum of $251,682,027. During the six years beginning with 1897 and ending with 1902, it amounted to $314,520,785, or an increase during that period of no less than $62,838,758 over the previous six years. The figures are as follows :


TOTAL EXPENDITURE.


1891.. . . .,$ 40,973,208 1897.. . . .. $ 42,972,7561892.. . . .. 42,272,136 1898.. . . .. 45,334,2811893.. . . .. 40,853,728 1899.. . . .. 51,542,6351894.. . . .. 43,009,234 1900.. . . .. 52,717,4671895.. . . .. 42,872,338 1901.. . . .. 57,982,8661896.. . . .. 41,702,383 1902.. . . .. 63,970,780$251,682,027 $314,520,785 The expenditure during the past year amounted to $63,970,780. During the last year of the late administration, 1896, it was $41,702,363, showing an increase in 1902 over 1896-the last year of the present administration over the last year of Conservative administration-of $22,268,397. The average annual expenditure of the present Liberal government during the past six years, amounted to $52,420,131. Compare this with the average annual expenditure of the previous Conservative government, which amounted to $41,947,005, and you have an average annual increase under Liberal administration of no less than $10,493,126. When I presented similar figures to this House last year the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce was shocked and astonished that any one should so endeavour to mislead the House as to contrast the total expenditures during these two periods. Let me give my right hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce an authority which I am sure he will not call in question, an authority which I am sure he respects more highly than any I could cite. Let me cite to him his own authority, as contained in


IT, 1903


an article published by him in the ' North American Review ' some years ago. In that article he made the following contrast : In 1845 the population of the United States was (by estimate) 20,000,000 The taxes of the United States were. .$27,531,630 The total expenditure was 22,935,828 Then by way of comparison, to show how Canada was going to ruin, as compared to the United States, he went on as follows : In 1889 the population of Canada was perhaps 4,800,000 The taxes of Canada were $30,613,522 The total expenditure was 36,917,854 And he made a pitiful comparison between the position of Canada and that of the United States, based on that standpoint. Is it not fair, taking the right hon. gentleman on his own statement, to make a similar comparison to-day. Let us see how such a comparison will work out: In 1845 the population of the United States was (by estimate) 20,000,000 The taxes of the United States were. .$27,531,630 The total expenditure was 22,935,828 In 1902 the population of Canada was (so far as we can ascertain from the census) 5,410,000 The taxes of Canada were $43,389,112 The total expenditure was 63,970,780 I could not get my right hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce to pay the slightest attention to that celebrated article when he addressed the House two years ago. Might I not ask from the hon. gentleman the favour of passing reference to that published statement of his. Might I not ask him to make a comparison between the figures of our present exependiture and that which he denounced 'in those days, and especially draw attention to the fact that he attributed all the wretchedness and misery and maladministration in Canada to what do you think. To the fact that in Canada at that day protection existed. Of course we know that, according to the right lion, gentleman's view, no protection exists in the present tariff, and I think we are entitled to some other argument from the right hon. gentleman to show that that which was food for comment and criticism so severe in days gone by, is now a matter of indifference to the hon. gentleman, even though it is exaggerated a hundred fold. Let me now, Mr. Speaker, deal with the expenditure on a per capita basis. I am not objecting to fair and even liberal expenditure. We have a young and growing country, which needs to be developed, but I must say that a good deal of public money in this country is not used for very wise purposes and not expended in a very statesmanlike way. In making the comparisons which I do to-day, I wish to be understood as not carping at fair and reasonable expenditure, because I am always willing and ready to support the government in its expenditures, so long as they are made on some systematic plan and for some wise purpose, in the true interests of our country. But it is only right that I should bring to the attention of the country, in these times of growing trade, increasing revenues and prosperity, the fact that our expenditure is also increasing by leaps and bounds ; and we may well bear in mind the words which my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, uttered only two or three sessions ago, that we cannot always expect to have these prosperous times, but must look for lean years in the future, years when the public revenue will not be by any means abundant. Now, the per capita expenditure, computed from the year 1896 to the present time, shows as follows. And I may say in passing, that the estimate of population for the several years has been based upon a comparison of the census of 1891 with the census of 1901, by methods which, I think, give fair and accurate results :


PER CAPITA EXPENDITURE.

April 17, 1903