March 30, 1910

LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

About 160 acres, and it can be sold for $1,000 or more per acre. A precisely similar course was (pursued a couple of years ago in the sale of land in Toronto and Montreal, and I think it is entirely in the public interest, as well as in the interest of the militia, that this farm should be. sold and other land acquired.

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONELL.

According to the ihon. minister then the Baby farm has been abandoned and is to be sold. How Vvill ithat affect the construction of the barracks?

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

That will in no way delay the construction of the barracks.

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONELL.

Would the hon. minister have any objection to stating where the government have decided to locate the barracks-what property they have selected?

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

I think it would be undesirable at present to state *even the locality except to say that it will be quite as convenient to tire city of Toronto as the Baby farm. It is probable th.at we may have to resort to expropriation, but that may not be the case, and in

any event I think it undesirable that I should state now the exact locality. But I may say that the site has been selected byr Colonel Otter and other officers who know exactly where they wish to locate. .

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

Will the hon. minister state what direction it is from the city?

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

I would rather not say. -

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

The government has made a speculation apparently out of the Baby farm. The city of Toronto wished to get the use of the Stanley barracks, and so agreed to purchase another property for the government, for which they paid $20,000.' The government has been using the StanJ ley barracks all this time and have made, a profit of over $100,000 on the whole transaction. I think that the $20,000 should be paid back to the city of Toronto, and the Stanley barracks be given to that city as a gift

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

I think the city got a very good bargain when it accepted the Stanley barracks, because it got them at really below the actual value.

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONELL.

I think the party aggrieved, if any one is, is the militia corps. The government bought the Bab,y farm some five years ago. At that time the barracks could not afford sufficient accommodation and it was expected that a new barracks would be built on the Baby farm. As far back as two years ago, considerable sums were put in the estimates for that purpose, but so far the government have done nothing except hold this land,, which has greatly appreciated in value. I' understand that they are making $100,000 but of the transaction. The militia are no further advanced than they were five years' ago, and the government are about to embark in a new property transaction, which they may hold for speculation another five years. What assurance will the minister give, if any, with regard to acquiring this site and immediately commencing the construction of the barracks which are so badly needed for the accommodation of the militia in the Toronto district?

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

As the discussion may last some time, I move that the committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

Progress reported.

Topic:   SALE OF BABY FARM.
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WAYS AND MEANS-TARIFF NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.

?

Hon. W. S.@

FIELDING (Minister of Finance) moved that the House go into Committee of Ways and Means. He said:

I desire to avail myself of this, the very earliest, opportunity of presenting to the House a statement concerning the negotiations which have recently occurred with respect to the question of commercial relations between the United States and Canada. One need hardly say anything as to the great importance of the subject. Living, as we do, close beside the great republic, and in close connection with it in many ways, it must at all times be of the utmost importance that we should maintain, as far as possible, friendly relations with that great country. Notwithstanding a tariff situation which we in Canada regard as somewhat unfavourable, the volume of our present trade is a very large one. Fifty per cent of the total trade of Canada is with the United States; fifty-nine per cent of our imports come from the United States, and thirty-five per cent of our exports are sent to the United States. And this occurs under tariff conditions which we in Canada, at all events, have regarded as not as favourable as we should wish them to be. The importance of the question was recognized at an early stage of the session by an hon. member opposite, who suggested that, before we should proceed with the final approval or our second or supplementary French treaty, we should ascertain whether the government of the United States would regard that treaty as one discriminating against the trade of the republic. While we realized the great importance of the matter, we did not think it would be wise to take that course. We had had negotiations from time to time with our American friends in relation to better trade conditions, and they had not turned out very successfully. We had, after repeated efforts, taken the ground that we should not again approach the United States with proposals for betterment of our trade relations, and that, if the matter was to be reopened again, it should be reopened, not upon the initiative of Canada, but upon the initiative of the United States. Accordingly, we declined to make any approach to the United States while the question of the French treaty was pending. That treaty was approved in due course, I am glad to say, not only by this side of the House, but little less than unanimously by parliament. We were bound to maintain the right of Canada, through the proper and accredited channels, to enter into trade treaties with any other country with which we might find it convenient to do business, and we felt that, to approach the United States in the manner suggested, would be to recognize their right to restrict our liberty in that respect.

Now, happily, Sir, the condition is changed. We declined to go to the United States on the subject, but the United States has taken the responsibility of taking the initiative. Ottawa no'longer takes the init-Mr. FIELDING.

iative, but Washington takes the first step of asking that we open negotiations for better trade relations.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TARIFF NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Did not the editor of the ' Globe ' go down there with his hat in his hand?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TARIFF NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

If my hon. friend (Mr. Hughes) is a regular and attentive reader of the * Globe ', I am surprised that he does not profit more from it. The United States tariff, I have said, is one which we have not regarded as favourable to Canadian trade. For years we had what was commonly known as the Dingley tariff, the new tariff law is known as the Payne-Aldrich tariff. In some respects, the new tariff is less favourable than the old one to Canadian interests; I think there are one or two cases of that kind. In other respects, the new tariff is more favourable to our trade than the Dingley tariff was. Taking it all in all, it is calculated that the Payne-Aldrich tariff is better for Canada. As respects last year's imports-taking these as an illustration-if we take the new tariff and apply it to the exports from Canada to the United States last year, it is claimed, the changes under the Payne-Aldrich tariff would be equivalent to $1,000,000 in our favour. That is to say, those who pay the duty-and I am not now entering into that aspect of the question -on these Canadian goods will pay about $1,000,000 less under the Payne-Aldrich tariff than would have been paid under the Dingley tariff. It is well to note, therefore, that to that extent there has been somewhat of an improvement. Nevertheless; the American tariff of to-day is quite a high tariff. And if upon that high tariff there should be placed in addition the maximum tariff of the United States, as proposed by a clause of the Payne-Aldrich Bill, undoubtedly the tariff burden would be so great upon Canadian industry as to practically become prohibitive. If that maximum tariff had to be applied, it would, I suppose, almost inevitably follow that Canada would be obliged to adopt retaliatory measures. There will be those who say that that does not necessarily follow; those who say that retaliation is not the most effective method of, dealing with foreign nations. I do not* subscribe to that doctrine. I think that experience, even the experience of Canada, shows that retaliatory measures sometimes becomes necessary in self-defence. I think that if the maximum tariff of the United States had to be applied to . Canada, it is more than probable that public opinion in Canada would have demanded retaliation from this side in the form of the present surtax, or, perhaps, a larger surtax, and perhaps, in other respects as well. This, undoubtedly would

have brought about a most deplorable tariff war. Now, in that tariff war, my own judgment is, the United States would have suffered more than Canada, but both parties would have suffered, and suffered in an enormous degree. There is no doubt that large interests in Canada would have been affected immediately. There are some important interests in Canada which are so closely associated with the United States markets that to have those markets suddenly closed against them would be held as a great misfortune. Nevertheless, even the men in these lines of industry, who realize that they, perhaps, would be the first to suffer, were as, a rule, disposed to take the ground that we ought not to make concessions to the United States of the large character they were said to be demanding, and that we should stand firm and insist upon the right of Canada to pursue her own commercial policy. These men were willing to bear the burden if necessary. Every one of these men with whom I had the pleasure of discussing this question personally said: This will be a great disaster; if it be possible by any moderate concession to avert such a disaster, it is the duty of the government and parliament of Canada to adopt that course. That is the spirit in which, then, we have approached the question.

So long as the United States government acted in what may possibly be called an unfriendly spirit-speaking in a commercial sense-so long as they placed their high tariff upon Canadian products and refused all overtures from Canada, the public opinion of Canada was most pronounced that we were bound to resent such a policy, to maintain our honour, our independence. But the moment the United States indicated their willingness to open negotiations, the .moment they expressed the desire to come to Canada and discuss the question with us, that moment the government felt-and I am sure parliament will feel-that it was our duty to meet them in the spirt in which they have come to us. Several weeks ago the Secretary of State for the United States, Mr. Knox, informed the British Ambassador at Washington that it was the desire of the United States to open up negotiations with Canada in respect to these important questions, and he desired to know the manner in which these negotiations could be best conducted. The British Ambassador, Mr. Bryce, informed him very properly that the best way to deal with a matter of that kind was to open up direct negotiations with the Canadian government.

Mr; J. A. CURRIE. Will this correspondence be laid on the table?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TARIFF NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I can say to my hon. friend that there is very little correspondence in this matter beyond what I shall submit before the close of my remarks. There have been some few letters, between the ambassador of the British government, the American government and ourselves, which may have to be regarded as of a confidential character. However, I am giving to my hon. friend the substance of it, and there is nothing in it that is not contained in what I have already communicated to the House. It may be necessary, later on, to bring it down; I offer no opinion as to that. The negotiations have been conducted largely without correspondence, and there is very little to be added in the way of correspondence to what I shall submit to the House. But if it be found that there is something beyond, I shall be happy to bring it down.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TARIFF NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Was there not some memoranda made of the negotiations as they went on, so as to keep a record of them?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TARIFF NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

It is important to keep a record of the conclusions, but in negotiations between governments in matters of that sort, it is not always necessary to keep records or memoranda of things that occur from day to day. It is important to make records of any conclusions that are reached, and the statement that I shall make will contain all the information that can be desired. But in saying that, if it be found that there is any correspondence having any proper bearing on this question we shall have no objection to bring it down, unless it is found to be of a confidential character.

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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

The minister referred to certain correspondence as passing between the British ambassador and the Secretary of State, in which certain matters regarding the tariff are referred to, and I asked the question whether that correspondence will be laid on the table?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TARIFF NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
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March 30, 1910