June 16, 1903

LIB
CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

And as my hon. friend from South Essex (Mr. Cowan) states this amendment makes special provision in reference to that. These are matters of final adjustment that we can deal with after settling the broad principle. There will be no objection, I presume, to leaving the matter of the class of structure that would be put under a railway altogether to be determined by the railway engineer. All that the municipality or the individual is interested in is that it shall be sufficiently large to give a free

flow of water beneath the railway property. Whether it shall be an extra substantial work or not is a matter that may be left to the railway engineer. General jurisdiction in the matter of determining the proportion of cost and the cost of the proceedings is a matter which eminently comes within the jurisdiction of the county judge. Now, I followed the remarks of the hon. member for Huntingdon (Mr. MacLaren), who outlined the procedure in the province of Quebec, and who emphasized the fact that in the province of Quebec they have an exceedingly simple and satisfactory procedure, a procedure which the hon. gentleman ventured to think was probably more simple and satisfactory than that in the any other province. I am glad to be able to tell the committee that the procedure outlined bv the hon. member for Huntingdon is' identical with the procedure under the general drainage law, not the Ditches and Water-courses Act, of the province of Ontario with the exception, that, of course, we have different names for the officials, but, it is exactly upon the same principle and I can certify that it has been exceedingly satisfactory, inexpensive and expeditious. So that, the hon. minister in taking this matter in consideration and framing provisions upon the lines that have been moved in the amendment by the hon. member for South Essex will be able to introduce some most valuable amendments in reference to this drainage question. There is just one matter that I intended to speak of when I said that in the main I agreed with the propositions of the hon. member for South Essex, and that is the last section of the amendments that he introduced. In dealing with railway companies I recognize, as has been suggested by the hon. member for Toronto (Mr. Brock), that probably we are liable, because there is a great deal of agitation, to adopt extreme views. I am not at all sure, as far as that last section is concerned, that a special provision for a dredge is required to be enacted in this legislation. That, of course, would naturally come from the hon. member for South Essex in his desire to help his constituents, but, we must submit ourselves to some inconvenience for the benefit of having railways traversing different parts of the country, and as regards that I would be glad enough to see that provision omitted. I would like to see the other provisions substantially carried out.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY ACT, 1903.
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?

The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

I will have these matters gone into very carefully and we will defer further consideration of these clauses relating to drainage until a later meeting of the comufittee.

Progress reported.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Eecess.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY ACT, 1903.
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SUPPLY-DUTY ON GARDEN PRODUCTS.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE moved that the House go into Committee of Supply-


CON

Joseph-Édouard-Émile Léonard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. E. LEONARD (Laval).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I move in amendment that all the words after ' that ' be struck out and the following substituted therefor :

It is greatly in the interest of the market gardeners and the farmers, that the duties on the products of our Canadian gardeners be so readjusted as to assure to the Canadian farmer an adequate protection against foreign competition.

I do not propose to revive the discussion which took place last year in the House on this subject. Some hon. members on the other side stated at the time that I had postponed moving a resolution to the same effect as this amendment, in order to embarrass the government and make political capital out of the question. That was so far from my thoughts that 1 offered to withdraw my resolution if some one on the government side should rise and declare that the government would undertake to have it passed. .

This year again, I delayed answering the speech made during last session by the hon. member for West York until the last moment, until the latter part of this session. in order to enable him to keep the numerous promises he made on the hustings in the course of the last electoral campaign and to redeem the pledge he took when, at tlie head of a numerous delegation of gardeners from the province of Ontario, he nrged the hon. Minister of Finance to revise tlie tariff in the sense he had pointed out.

If I remember rightly what he said last year to argue himself into voting as he was told and setting aside his promises to His electors and to the gardeners throughout the country, he claimed that having put the resolution on the Qrder paper at the vei .v beginning of the session, I then delayed bringing the matter up for discussion until the government had made known their decision not to change the tariff.

Well. I hope that this year the hon. member for West York will support the amendment. to be consistent with himself and to show his electors that he is willing at least when an opportunity offers, to make good the promises made in election time.

Last year several hon. members took part in the debate on that question. Those who spoke in favour of my motion took the view more especially that the gardeners in the vicinity of Montreal should be more highly protected. I admit that in a question of that kind, both sides should be considered, the interests of the producers as well as those of the consumers. I remember an hon. member saying that for one he was in

476S

favour of the consumer anil would remain so, so long as s me means had not been devised of increasing the production of our gardens in winter time ; so long as the course of the stars had not been changed and a warmer sun given to Canada towards the close of winter.

Mr. Speaker, the number of gardeners in the vicinity of large cities, such as Montreal and Toronto, is larger than is imagined. In the census bulletins, these gardeners do not appear as such ; they are entered as ordinary farmers. In the neighbourhood of Montreal, there are between two and three hundred gardeners, each one of whom employs between five and thirty people. I may say that there are at leas't five or six hundred families who subsist on gardening in the counties of Laval and Jacques Cartier alone. I am told that about Toronto there are at least two or three thousand people who support themselves on gardening.

All these farmers and market gardeners, have to pay heavy duties on everything they consume. They pay duty on the tools they use ; on the clothes they wear. Why should they not in turn be protected like others, as stated in their petition forwarded to the Customs Department ? All they ask for, is that their industry, their business, their labour should be protected as those of other producers. It seems to me they have a right to be heard and to obtain protection from the government.

Last year (April 2S, 1902), the hon. member for West York (Mr. Campbell) made a similar statement On page 3059 of ' Hansard,' I find him quoted as follows

Now, I say, that to my mind is a hardship, and I believe it would be wise for the government carefully to consider this question. I would like to see them increase the duty a'little. I don't think we need go very far, because if the effect of the increase in that duty is to advance the price of these vegetables in the early spring, it is only the well-to-do people who consume them. If you pay a cent, or two cents more for your cabbages to get them in April or May, it is only the wealthy classes that use those goods at that season, it is not the poor people that consume them. Then when our own vegetables come into the market our people will be able to supply the market of Canada with all the goods the consumers require and there is sufficient competition among the market gardeners in Canada themselves to keep the prices right.

These few words suflice to meet the objections raised against my amendment by the bon. members on the other side who are free traders. What do the gardeners ask by their petition, which I have looked into? They request that a specific duty be put on foreign products similar to theirs. At present there is an ad valorem duty ; 25 per cent is paid on the value of vegetables imported from the United States, and in most cases these vegetables are entered as damaged products, and instead of the government getting the full revenue from the duty, Mr. LEONARD.

an insignificant amount only is collected therefrom. Market gardeners request that asparagus be submitted to a duty of three cents per pound ; cucumbers, 20 cents per dozen ; lettuce, 25 cents per dozen ; cauliflowers, 3 cents a piece ; spinach, 25 cents per bushel ; potatoes, 25 cents per bushel ; cabbage, 3 cents a piece, and so forth. I submit to the House this request of the market gardeners, because it appears to me to be fair and reasonable, and because .under the United States tariff, which specially provides for the protection of tlieir farmers against foreign or Canadian competitors, the rates are about as high as those I have mentioned.

As already stated, every feature of this question was discussed in the course of the session. If I remember aright, the hon. Minister of Finance did not say at the time that he was adverse to an increase of duty on these products. He was content with informing the House that the government had not as yet made up tlieir minds as to changing the tariff, and thereupon he moved the adjournment of the debate. Since last session, the hon. Minister of Finance has had plenty of time to study the question, and make inquiry from parties interested and even members who are in favour of an increase in the duties ; and I trust that this year he will comply with the request of the gentlemen I have the honour to represent tonight. My hon. friend, the member for La-belle (Mr. Bourassa) is nodding to me just now, and I infer from his action that he does not agree with me. However, I was pleased to hear him last week in this House state over and over again that he was a protectionist.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

The SPEAKER.

I wish to draw the hon. gentleman's attention to tile fact that he is not allowed to refer to a previous debate.

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CON

Joseph-Édouard-Émile Léonard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEONARD.

At all events, Mr. Speaker, I know of a good many members who, though unwilling to give themselves out publicly as protectionists, admit as soon as they are outside this House, that they are in favour of protection, and I have heard an hon. member on the other side proclaim himself in this House a protectionist, though he considered he was bound for party reasons to vote in favour of free trade. 'However, it is likely that the hon. member 1o whom I have referred a moment ago will once mere follow his leaders and vote against his principles.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. HENRI BOURASSA (Labelle).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, it was not my intention to join in the debate on the motion of the hon. member for Laval, and I would not have done so, had he not thought proper to mention my name and to recall my views in favour of protection. I may repeat to the hon. member what I have already said, that actually I am a protectionist : lint for the very reason that I believe in protection,

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JUKE 16, 1903 477CT


I do not think it a good plan to convert our fiscal policy into a system of political speculation. I do not wish to question the lion, member's good faith. I am willing to admit that he lias an absolute confidence in the efficiency of the proposal he submits. But I think that had he considered the question from the standpoint of political economy rather than from the point of view of the member for Laval, he would have come to another conclusion. He would have realized that even if the government were to adopt his views, the condition of the farmers in his country as well as that of the gardeners in the vicinity of Montreal and other parts of the country, would in no way he changed. In fact, under what conditions would an increase of the duty on garden truck from the United States have the effect of shutting off these products from our markets ? It would at the time of the year when our own products not being as yet available, early vegetables from the United States come in naturally, because consumers require them. But as soon as the natural products of the counties of Laval and Jacques Cartier, or of any county in the vicinity of Montreal, can be taken to the markets of that city, at no great expense for transportation or production, the competition of United States producers is no longer an impediment. In other words, as far as local consumption goes, competition on the part of United States producers does not count ; in fact, if we go back to the original meaning of the word, it can be hardly termed competition at all. Consequently, the motion of my bon. friend, however good his intentions, does not attain the object he has in view. He certainly cannot, at certain seasons, as in winter, prevent the people of Montreal from buying cabbage or asparagus when they are so inclined, and his 'intelligent and faithful ' electors are not in a position to produce them.


CON

Joseph-Édouard-Émile Léonard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEONARD.

(Translation.) Does the hon. member know at wliat time of the year vegetables from the United States arrive in Montreal and Toronto.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

(Translation.) United States vegetables may reach Montreal at all seasons ; but from the standpoint of the market gardener, such competition affects him only during our own season of production and during our season of production in Canada, vegetables from the United States are not forthcoming, for the very good reason that our own production is superabundant, and that competition on the part of the former is not to be feared. The same thing happens the world over, as a consequence of differences in climate.

There are market gardeners in the vicinity of large cities in the United States. At certain seasons of the year, the cities of Boston and New York, for instance, receive vegetables and fruit from California. Do gardeners in the vicinity of those cities complain of the competition they are sub-150

jected to ? Not at all. Large quantities of fruit are also received from Florida, Havana and Mexico. But as soon as local production is abundant enough to meet the requirements of consumers, that competition necessarily ceases. So that I do not see any good reason in support of this motion ; and I must admit that it seems preposterous that we should be asked to pay a higher price for these commodities when our market gardeners are not in a position to supply the needs of the market.

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CON

Joseph-Édouard-Émile Léonard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEONARD.

(Translation.) Would my hon. friend be disposed to support a resolution providing for an increase of the duty during that period of time only when our Canadian gardeners are in a position to supply the market ?

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

(Translation.) No ; as I think such a measure would not be workable, and moreover would be of the kind 1 have referred to, calculated to mislead the public.

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CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. D. SMITH (Wentworth).

I sympathize, as do a great many members on both sides of the House, with the amendment introduced by the hon. member for Laval (Mr. Leonard). I have noticed that whenever a motion of this kind is proposed asking for increased protection there are always some members on the other side of the House of high protectionist views who like the hon. gentleman for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) try to argue themselves into not voting for such a resolution. Sometimes it takes time to do it, but they generally wind up by convincing themselves. The market gardeners of Canada are a class of men who are particularly in need of whatever assistance the government can give them in the way of protection. Their calling requires a great deal of industry, a considerable amount of skill, and a market gardener with four or five acres will employ almost as many hands as a farmer with 200 acres. It is such a labour employing industry as this that we ought to protect. There is invested in this market gardening industry many thousands of dollars in greenhouses and other necessaries to the enterprise, and I am quite sure that that investment would be doubled if legitimate and reasonable protection were given to the products of the market gardeners. It is contended that the price will be advanced to the consumer by a duty on these articles. It is possible that for a short time, until the industry gets well on its feet, that will be the case, but it is also a fact that it is only the rich who indulge in these high priced early vegetables and the consumers consequently are well able to pay a little money into the treasury. The Minister of Finance has always a place for any extra revenue lie can get, and if protection in this case should result in a slightly increased price I am sure that no one, not even the

rich consumer of vegetables will object. The tax will be but a trifle compared with the benefits it would confer on the market gardeners of Canada. Time and again the government had been petitioned to grant this protection. Two years ago a large deputation was headed by the member for Jacques Cartier (air. Monk) and the member for AVest York (Mr. Campbell) and I expect to see the hoii. member (Mr. Campbell) speak and vote in favour of this resolution to-night. I know that last year lie argued himself into the belief that he was obliged to vote against the resolution, because the conference of the premiers in England interfered with the granting of a duty on vegetables, but now that that difficulty has been removed, and now that the government has doubtless taken the matter into their serious consideration, I have hopes that the bon. member for AYest York (Mr. Campbell) will give us his support. I take it for granted that the result of the consideration of the government is, that they have absolutely refused to grant the request of the market gardeners of this country. It is a mistaken policy, because there is no valid reason why some assistance should not be given to this industry which would in no way hurt anybody, and which would be of very great assistance to the market gardeners. In the neighbourhood of Hamilton there must be 200 or 300 men engaged in the industry and supplying not only the city of Hamilton but the northern part of the province as well. The importation of American vegetables in the early part of the season hampers their industry, and if they were protected even only for a short time at the beginning of each season, it would be of great benefit to them. The practice is to start these vegetables under glass and then grow them in the open air, and our market gardeners are not able to compete with the cheap labour of the southern states. Indeed when our early vegetables are about being transplanted the vegetables in Delaware and the Carolinas, grown in the open season are fit for market, so that our farmers could not even compete with these. There should be a duty on these vegetables in the early part of the season at ail events, so that the keen edge of the first taste for vegetables may not be dissipated before our early vegetables are ready to be placed on the market. I am sure that if the hon. member for AAhist York (Mr. Campbell) would appeal to the government once more, they will even at this late date reconsider their determination and give the market gardeners some assistance. _

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LIB

Robert Holmes

Liberal

Air. R. HOLMES (AYest Huron).

AAThile this is a resolution that most largely affects the cities, there is a principle underlying it that ought not to be overlooked. .Judging by what the hon. gentleman (Air. Smith) said one would think there is no duty on vege-Mr. SMITH (Wentworth).

tables imported from the United States. Even if that were so, 1 do not know that it would be a good reason for imposing a duty on these vegetables, but nobody knows better than the hon. member for AVentwortli that the American market is availed of by the market gardeners and fruit growers of the Niagara district which the hon. gentleman has the honour to represent, and while he is attempting to shut out the importation of vegetables from the United States, I presume he wants to retain the American market for himself. I have here a letter from the wholesale fruit and vegetable dealers of Toronto which was published in the newspapers some time ago, and which I understand was sent to the Minister of Finance.

I find that there is at the present time a duty of 25 per cent on cucumbers, 25 per cent on asparagus, two cents per pound! on strawberries, which is equal to $486 per car; one cent per pound on peaches, or $240 per car; 25 per cent on lettuce, onions, and radishes; 25 per cent, or from $75 to $100 per car, on celery; and $125 per car on tomatoes. It seems to me that a duty of 25 per cent ought to be enough to protect the growers of vegetables in Canada. If the gardeners in the neighbourhood of the cities are not satisfied with that amount of protection, it is pretty hard to know what will satisfy them. I was surprised to hear the bon. member for AVentworth (Mr. Smith) admit that there would be any- increase of price if the duties were put on.'but he was candid enough to make that admission. I do not see why the people of Canada, in the spring, when it is impossible to obtain Canadian vegetables, should be compelled to pay more for the early vegetables which come from the south than ordinarily; and we must remember that the poorer people in the city households appreciate the advantage of replenishing their tables with early vegetables as well as the wealthier citizens. This letter, which purports to be signed by all the wholesalers in Toronto, as well as by retailers, claims that the introduction of American vegetables and fruits 'does not interfere with the sale of Canadian products, because they come in early in the season when the Canadian products are not available. I think it would be wise on the part of this House to refuse to increase the duty on vegetables. I think 25 per cent is high enough. .

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

(Translation.) Air. Speaker, I may recall the fact that at the time my hon. friend from Laval (Air. Leonard) was elected a member of this House, he pledged himself to do all in his power to forward the idea that gardeners should be put on the same footing at least as are manufacturers in this country. Indeed he has made good his promise ; for, besides joining, with all who have that cause at heart, in the move-

meat which went on outside this House, he introduced, at every session, in a constitutional and judicious way this motion which is of the greatest interest for the electors of his county and of several other counties, not only in the vicinity of Montreal and Toronto, but I may say in the vicinity of all large cities in the Dominion.

The hon. member who has just spoken (Mr. Holmes) read a kind of certificate, from which we may surmise what is the real nature of the war continually waged in this House against a policy which, to my mind, should commend itself to the attention of the government. The document he read comes from a few individuals, worthy of respect, I admit,-I mean the dealers in vegetables from the United States, and there are some in Montreal-who realize enormous profits, while our farmers suffer from an unfair competition ; and that document purported to show that we are not in a position to grow these vegetables in winter time.

My hon. friend, the member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) also addressed the House, this evening. He started out by saying that he had not studied the question. It is only proper, therefore, that we should excuse him for the ignorance he showed in regard to gardeners. It may be that in the county of Labelle-which is not in the vicinity of a large city such as Montreal- the need of protection such as my hon. friend from Laval asks for, is not so keenly felt. However, Labelle has fairly good transportation facilities to Montreal, and is close enough to Ottawa where quantities of vegetables from the United States are sold. So that, with some thought and study, my hon. friend would readily have come to the conclusion that even his county would be benefited by the adoption of the thoroughly national policy which this motion sets forth.

The hon. member stated, however, that the United States garden truck came to this country at a time when Canadian truck could not lie found on our markets. Why, has my hon. friend not followed the discussion which went on for weeks in the Montreal papers, whereby it was shown, not from the statements of lawyers or professional men. but from those of gardeners and agriculturists, that the production of vegetables in the United States was at a certain time in the spring of the year concurrent with ours, and consequently interfered with the sale of our home grown vegetables ? Is it not to the knowledge of my hon. friend from Labelle that two or three delegations discussed that important point with the hon. Minister of Finance and showed to his satisfaction and that of some of his colleagues, by the testimony of competent men representing the Gardeners' Association of Ontario and Quebec, that this theory, lightly put forward. I must say. by my hon. friend from Labelle, has no foundation? It was shown that we are successful in raising 150}

early vegetables and that this competition on the part of United States products is very harmful to us.

Mr. Speaker, I shall not speak of Toronto, as there are in this House several members who are acquainted with the situation there ; but within twenty-five miles of Montreal, there are large numbers of market gardeners interested in this policy. It will enable our farmers, producers of grain over large areas, to improve their condition by taking to market gardening. That policy is of interest also to the county of Laprairie-Napierville, so well represented here by my hon. friend (Mr. Monet). It interests the county of VerchSres, and the county of L'As-somption, although somewhat distant from Montreal ; but I am sure that my hon. friend who represents that county would rejoice should the government at last adopt a wise policy on that question.

The counties of Cbambly-Vercheres and Terrebonne are also greatly interested. Today the county of Terrebonne is in close communication with Montreal ; and I heard it stated in that county, last winter, that should market gardening be protected, the people there would be in a position to provide for Montreal's enormous consumption of vegetables. The county of Vaudreuil, which adjoins my own, is also greatly interested. as well as the county of Hochelaga, worthily represented by my hon. friend (Mr. Madore), whom I notice just now at his seat. The county of Hochelaga stands high as regards this specialty, and supplies the Montreal market with a large quantity of the early vegetables for which the gardeners claim from the government as much protection as is granted to other industries, and no more. A great deal was said last year concerning protection for the farmers ; my hon. friends who are seated on your right. Mr. Speaker, had much to say on the subject. Well, here is a proposal thoroughly in the interest of the farmers, a most favourable opportunity is offered for granting them some measure of protection. We will find out who are the farmer's friends. The market gardeners in this country are those who go in for extensive farming, to which very little attention has been given heretofore. But to-day, through the efforts of noted agriculturists, that type of farming, particularly in the province of Quebec, and more particularly in the district of Montreal, at the hands* of the descendants of the first settlers of the country, is being remarkably developed.

I did not mention just now the county of Laval, and my reason for omitting to do so was that my hon. friend (Mr. Leonard) had. this evening, very well spoken on behalf of that county. Laval, which extends even over a small part of the island of Montreal, is very highly interested in this question. The county of Jacques Cartier, whose representative I have the honour to be, has never ceased since I have been a

member of this House, to claim that protection, which is so necessary to its welfare. My hon. friend from Laval spoke of the development of that industry ; he said that in his county, that agricultural specialty was carried on a large scale. I may say without exaggerating that the capital invested in the production of early vegetables amounts at least to $150,000. We showed all that to the satisfaction of the members of the government, and among others, the hon. Minister of Finance, when we called on them with the joint delegation of the gardeners of Ontario and Quebec representing the interests of that class of gardeners which is so important and so worthy of our solicitude.

Mr. Speaker, should you fancy the notion, some day, it might be well to visit Cote des Neiges, Notre Dame de Grace, or some others of our important parishes in the vicinity of Montreal. You would be surprised, I am assured, at witnessing what our gardeners have accomplished in the way of liot-beds, in order to supply Montreal, in tiie months of March and April, with the products required for consumption, and to use the words of Mr. Legare, with an abundance of all that the city requires, at reasonable prices. Yourself, Mr. Speaker, were it possible for you to vote on this motion, you would be the first to do so, as the county of Rouville is close enough to Montreal as to be in a position to take advantage of such a measure of protection. Early vegetables are raised in that county on a large scale, and X believe that if a policy of protection were to be applied to that industry, the county of Rouville, which may be reached from Montreal in an hour's time, would take due advantage of it.

Two important delegations interviewed the government and submitted petitions to which my hon. friend from Laval referred. These two delegations consisted of gardeners from Ontario and Quebec who were unable to understand one another, as they did not speak the same language ; but a strange and very noticeable fact was that they all agreed as to the proper course to follow. They all agreed as to the rates of duty to be levied ; they all agreed in the answers to questions put by the ministers. On two occasions, then, did these gentlemen submit their representations to the government, and in each case, did the government promise to take their requests into serious consideration.

After waiting two years, is it not fair, Mr. Speaker, that my hon. friend from Laval, who takes such a lively interest in this question, should have recourse to the simple and constitutional means which he is taking this evening in order to obtain from this House an expression of opinion as a guide to the government in any action they may think fit to take regarding that policy which appeals to us so strongly ?

That class of men, the gardeners, have

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

to pay duty on all that they use in the pursuit of their calling: agricultural implements, harness, wagons; even the clothes they wear to do their work are subjected to a duty by the government. Why should not the latter afford some protection to the products which through their arduous labours are extracted from the soil ?

The hon. member for I.abelle stated that we paid duty on vegetaules from the United States at a time when our people were not in a position to grow them. My lion. friend loses sight of an important point : even if his statement were correct- and the contrary has been proven-even if it were so, we should through respect for ourselves and for our benefit, retaliate against the people of the United States. We should not submit to paying the high duties they impose, and not levy any ourselves. ' .

Had my hon. friend studied the question, he would be well aware that formerly, previous to the enactment of the United States tariff, we exported across the line, during autumn and winter, cabbages, celery and several other kinds of vegetables, which to-day we cannot sell there on account of the prohibitive duty which lias been enacted.

That is the evil which we wish to have corrected through the imposition of duties on products from the United States, in the same way that our products are taxed by them. By that means, that is by holding up our heads to our neighbours who wish to exclude our products from their markets, will we succeed in having the evil remedied. In this respect again, the motion now before us is eminently wise.

This is not a party question. It may be stated that under previous governments the duty was the same. That is possible ; similarly, under previous governments other things have happened which should not have happened. Had it been otherwise, these governments might have remained in power and would not have undergone the fate of all governments which deteriorate and perish through wrong doing. The evil I have referred to is undoubted. In the spring and until July 15, our gardeners are deprived of the profit which would bo ensured by a fair and reasonable rate of duty.

When the delegation of farmers from Ontario and Quebec submitted their views to tiie government, the following question was put : Do you intend to raise the prices of vegetables which we buy on the markets in our cities ? What was the answer to that question ? The president of the Gardeners' Association of the province of Quebec-and his testimony is worthy of consideration-answered at once : Give us a fair measure of protection and we guarantee that the products we shall offer for sale will not be dearer than those we have now to compete against.

While my hon. friend from Lnbelle (Mr. Bourassa) was speaking, the member for Laval (Mr. Leonard) asked him a question regarding which 1 deem it incumbent oii me to say a few words. On two occasions it was suggested to the government: by the delegations which came to Ottawa, in case it was not thought advisable to grant absolute protection throughout the year, to establish a sliding scale of duties. That was certainly a wise suggestion, and the Minister of Finance remembers, no doubt, that the question was discussed at the time. That suggestion is a practical one, and I think a sliding scale of duties could lie worked in such a way as to offer sufficient protection to our gardeners. In the opinion of the delegates, there was no question as to the practicability of such a suggestion. I believe it would be possible to lower the duties during the months of November, December and January, and subsequently to increase them to the proposed amount in the spring as soon as our products come in again, that is at the time when these protective duties would benefit the growers. Such a system could lie applied here as it has been elsewhere. In the spring, our gardeners could produce abundantly and at reasonable prices the vegetables we require ; but it is not fair to abandon them without protection to the competition of the negroes and the Chinese who till the lands in Carolina and Virginia.

Mr. .1. A. C. ETHIER (Two Mountains). (Translation). Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Minister of Finance, seconded by the hon. the Minister of Agriculture, moved, a little while ago, Jliat the House go into Committee of Supply, and the hon. member for Laval (Mr. Leonard) moved in amendment :

That it is greatly in the interest of the market gardeners and the farmers, that the duties on our Canadian garden products be so adjusted as to guarantee the Canadian farmer an effective protection against foreign competition.

I must say, at the outset, that although l had the privilege of listening to the remarks offered by the hon. member for Laval (Mr. Leonard), I could not catch the meaning of the last portion of his argument. It was also my privilege to hear what I may call the political harangue of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), who has just resumed his seat, and who is the recognized leader of the opposition in the province of Quebec. It is not my intention. however, to say anything as to the merits of bis remarks, as I must admit that I have not the necessary knowledge and information to deal properly with the matter.

I had occasion to meet the hon. gentleman at several public assemblies in the rural constituencies of the province of Quebec, which be lias just referred to, namely, Hoehelaga, Laval, Chambly and Vt relieves and Terrebonne. I may add that I also met him in February last at St. Eustacbe, in the

county of Two Mountains and at Ste. Seliol-astique, the chief town of the Terrebonne district. Upon those several occasions, he stated that the greatest agricultural county in the province of Quebec was that which I have the honour of representing here, and which I won for the party, in spite of all the efforts put forth by my opponents. Now, Sir, the hon. gentleman, this evening, failed to mention the county of Two Mountains as an agricultural county, and I hope the electors of my constituency will not forget It. The hon. gentleman thinks that the county of Two Mountains is not an agricultural constituency, and that in the province of Quebec, the only agricultural counties are those of Hoehelaga, Terrebonne and Laval, the last of which is represented here by the mover of this resolution.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DUTY ON GARDEN PRODUCTS.
Subtopic:   JUKE 16, 1903 477CT
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June 16, 1903