I thought it was only fair to Sir Charles Tupper that this letter, written not at his instigation, written entirely without his knowledge, should he brought to the attention of the House, as other correspondence from Mr. Whitney was at the time introduced into this House for the purpose of somewhat contradicting Sir Charles Tupper as to the share he had taken in the legislation at that time.
Now, coming to the proposal of the government, I regard it as a mere makeshift, a mere temporary expedient. I believe the iron industry of Canada can never be put upon a permanent basis until the duties are so revised as to give the home market, to a large extent at least, to our own people. That the government's present proposal will not do. The effect of a bounty and the effect of customs duties are very distinct. If by means of customs duties you can give the home market to our own people and in that way build up the production of iron and steel in Canada, the result will be that the competition thus stimulated in our own country will reduce the prices of the products to a fair and reasonable basis, and eventually there will be no burden on the people at all, because they will get their iron and steel manufactures and goods in Canada as cheaply as they Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
can get them in any other country. But the' effect of bounties is precisely the opposite. The more you develop the industry by means of a bounty, the greater burden you impose on the people. If you increase the production four-fold by means of a bounty, you increase the burden of the people four-fold. Now, there is good reason, it seems to me, for endeavouring to give our people the home market in respect to this great industry. I do not disguise from *myself, nor does the hon. Minister of Finance disguise from t,he House, the necessity, in case the duties on iron and steel are revised, of revising the duties on other articles which are intimately associated with the use or the production of iron a'nd steel. But is our home market worth anything ? It is estimated that we used during the past year more than 800,000 tons of iron and steel, of which we imported 544,547 tons direct products of blast furnaces and rolling mills of other countries. Surely there should be some opportunity for our own manufacturers to acquire the control of a market like that. We imported last year $33,681,625 worth of iron and steel and manufactures thereof. A considerable portion of those goods could be and ought to be manufactured in Canada. But I submit to the House, and particularly to the Minister of Finance, that it is impossible to give to our manufacturers the home market by a simple system of bounties such as that which he is proposing at the present time. My hon. friend has referred to a possible revision of the tariff in the future. Indeed, he has put these resolutions in such a form as, coupled with his remarks, to suggest that possibly he may be looking forward to a revision of the tariff at an early date. I would have thought, as I suggested at an early part of the session, that it would have been better to make a revision of the tariff at once, and not resort to this mere makeshift and temporary expedient, which will have to be abandoned if the iron and steel industry of Canada is to be put on a permanent basis. If that result is achieved, it can only be done by a very thorough revision of the tariff on these articles. I do not know whether the hon. Minister of Finance has any understanding with the manufacturers of iron and steel with regard to that. The way in which he has dealt with the matter in the House would seem to give colour to that supposition. While I am glad that these resolutions have been brought down and that this small measure of protection has been given for the purpose of aiding and developing this great industry, nevertheless I regret that my hon. friend has not seen fit to adopt the only means by which in my opinion this industry can be put upon a permanent basis in this country, that is, a revision of the customs tariff in such a way and to such an extent that the Canadian producers will enjoy the Can-
adian market. I still trust that the government will take the very earliest opportunity -I am afraid they will not have any opportunity if they do not begin very soon- to give adequate assistance to the iron and steel industry in the way I have mentioned.