March 8, 1911

LIB
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

In the debates in the United States House of Representatives, the statement has been made over and over again that the American agricultural implement manufacturers do not recognize the Canadian manufacturer of agricultural implements as a quantity to be considered. They say that they can export into Canada against the duty without fear of competition from the. Canadian manufacturer.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   FARM CONSERVATION.
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LIB

Lloyd Harris

Liberal

Mr. HARRIS.

I was just coming to that. I have been investigating tha conditions of the plough business because I am not interested in that line and have been looking it up more than the others. The American manufacturer of ploughs at the present time, with a duty against him of 15 per cent, is in just about as good a position to supply the Canadian western trade as will be the manufacturer in Ontario with freight and other things against him. I represent a constituency where we have 6.000 men employed in the factories, and, of these, I suppose 5,000 are engaged in the agricultural implement industry. These

men are the best class of mechanics, I believe, that we have in any factories in Canada. This arrangement is going to mean that the development of the agricultural implement business in Canada will stop. We are not going on to develop the agricultural implement in Canada. The concerns I am connected with have found it necessary, on account of the agitation and the trouble which they think will come, to remove part of their works to the United States. They do not want to do that. '

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   FARM CONSERVATION.
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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

May I be allowed a question? Did they remove any part of their Canadian works, or did they simply acquire works in the United States?

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LIB

Lloyd Harris

Liberal

Mr. HARRIS.

They find now, and have known for many years that, for their foreign trade, which is 50 per cent of their entire trade, they could manufacture in the United States cheaper than in Canada. They have preferred to manufacture in Canada, and, with the concessions that the government gave in the way of drawbacks of duties on rawr material, they have up to the present time, been able to continue their industry in Canada. But my own conviction is very strong that from now on, the development of this particular industry will not take place in Canada, but will be on the other side of the line.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Did not they secure this plant in the United States before this treaty was negotiated?

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LIB

Lloyd Harris

Liberal

Mr. HARRIS.

They did. But they secured it because there had been so much agitation on account of the implement duty. I have no objection, if the implement duties are too high, that the government should lower them. If the duties are too high on anything let the government lower them. I do not believe in a protective tariff that will create conditions under which one man or group of men can get rich at the expense of the people. I do not care very much about discussing this question, but I thought I ought to put myself on record in connection with it in this debate.

Now, Mr. Chairman, my people in Brantford are in a different position perhaps from those in almost any other constituency. We have, as I have stated, large implement industries; we have two flour mills; we have one large pork packing industry. On looking over the list of industries of the town, I find that nine of them are directly affected by this proposed change. Therefore, I do not think that you can expect them to look with a great deal of favour on this agreement. I have had a great deal to do with the getting of American concerns established in Canada. I have many friends in the United States, and Mr. HARRIS.

these men, several of them, at my request, have come over and looked into the conditions existing here, and have established plants. I had a long letter from one of them early in November last, and I would like to read it, so that hon. members will know what opinion on this question is held by some of our American friends who at present have interests in Canada:

I read newspaper accounts and hear considerable talk in Brantford regarding the proposed revision of tariff between Canada and the United States. We are not students in political economy, but as manufacturers and employers of labour in Canada and also manufacturers of the same class of work in the United States it appears to us that it would be disastrous to our Canadian interests to make any change in the tariff. From Buffalo we can reach all the important points that the Brantford plant reaches for a less freight rate than from Brantford. We can also manufacture malleable iron very much cheaper per ton in Buffalo than in Brantford. The above are absolute facts relating to onr business and it appears to us that should the tariff on malleable iron or agricultural implements be removed it would necessitate closing our Brantford plant and transferring the business to Buffalo.

Looking at the whole thing broadly Canada is where the United States was fifty years ago. The Canadian farmers can buy better implements much cheaper than the States farmer could when this country was at a corresponding period in their development, and they certainly can sell their products for more money, making a very attractive net income. On the other hand, if the manufacturing industries of Canada are given proper support, we feel that it would tend to increase the population and thereby increase the welfare of the country at large.

That is a sample of several letters I have had. This same party sent me a wire on the 27th of January, this, I think was the day after the announcement was made in this House of the proposed arrangement:

Kindly wire my expense your opinion as to the possibility of the proposed reciprocity agreement going into effect. We have an option to take over property in Canada for our business employing four hundred people. This option expires on Monday. Should not accept if duties going to be modified. The courtesy of your opinion will he greatly appreciated.

This plant, the purchase of which he had In prospect, was for the purpose of supplying implement manufacturers in Canada with parts of their raw material. I had to advise him that, on account of the reduction of duty from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, I thought the government, in justice to the implement manufacturers, would necessarily have to make reductions in the .steel schedule, and, if they did that, he would have to consider it and deal with it himself. As a result, he gave up his optioo.

I think the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has stated that he does not intend to do anything with the duties on manufactured goods. I believe that is his firm intention, but I tell you that no power on earth can keep any government from giving the farmers, who are now going to have every vestige of protection taken away from them, their .just claims, when they come down here and demand that every other interest be put on the same footing. It would not be fair, it would not be right. The farmers are not asking for this reduction in duty on their products. The very class of farmer whom we in Ontario, at any rate, think most of, the people who have been literally practising the doctrine which we have been spreading throughout this country that the man who will make two blades of grass grow where one grew before, is doing the most for agriculture in this country, come down here, and what do they demand? They do not come to ask for a reduction in the duties, but to ask the government to give them fair and moderate protection on their investment and on what they are producing. Now, my friend Eugene N. Foss is a manufacturer and a very capable, .clever business man. He is now governor of Massachusetts. Mr. Foss and myself have discussed the question of his establishing a factory in Canada, at different times during the past ten years, I have done everything I could to get Mr. Foss interested in establishing in Canada a branch of their large works which are situated outside of Boston. I believe that Mr. Foss, at the present time, would not consider for one moment following out that advice, because he knows-and every American manufacturer knows-that the government having gone thus far, are bound to go further. And Mr. Foss has stated that:

The present tariff system has resulted in sending approximately $300,000,000 of American capital to Canada to build up branch industries which compete with American factories in foreign markets. It has resulted in stifling the growth of Massachusetts and kept us out of the business and commerce which belongs to us by every right. It has kept the great Canadian railroads from our ports.

That is exactly what I want the Canadian policy to do. I want the American manufacturers to be forced to establish plants on this side of the line and provide work for our Canadian workmen if they want to have the advantage of supplying our home markets.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   FARM CONSERVATION.
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CON

John Best

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEST.

Are there any producers in Canada to-day except the farmers who have to pay a duty on everything they consume, and have no protection whatever on what

they produce? We have to pay a duty on everything. Is that right?

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LIB

Lloyd Harris

Liberal

Mr. HARRIS.

That is absolutely right, and that is the point I was trying to make. Now, I want to refer to one other memorial which was presented by the farmers' deputation in December last. I was acquainted with one member of that deputation, a gentleman who came from my own county, and I want to place on record my opinion of the memorial which he presented to the government on that occasion, in which he attempted to give the facts existing with regard to agriculture in Brant county. This is from Colonel Fraser:

Treating on the question of turnips, I have frequently seen paid in customs and freight dues nearly four dollars for every dollar paid the producer. This is only one of the many like instances I could enumerate. It is no wonder then that the farming interests in my district are depressed; that the bailiff's business is largely on the increase; that merchants are unable to collect their bills, and that the general conditions of the farmer call loudly and piteously for a change. The conditions as outlined in the contemplated changes of the tariff would, I believe, largely eliminate the existing conditions and place on a sound foundation our agricultural interests, on whose prosperity the condition of all classes so much depends.

As the government has apparently taken this statement as literally true, I want to say that it is not at all correct in regard to the county of Brant, and I think the Minister of Customs will bear me out in saying so. I do not think there is a farmer in the whole county of Brant that will subscribe to what is said there. Now, Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, I want to say that I have tried to impress upon the House the fact that we are all working together to build up a great nation. We want everything of the very best. We want our peopl.e equipped with the best educational knowledge; we want them to turn out the best goods of every kind. We want our farmers to be the best farmers; we want them to turn out their products in the best possible condition; we want them to pay more attention to quality than to anything else. If we can build up the country along those lines we shall succeed in making of Canada a great nation. But if we follow the policy of sending out of our country all its raw materials in the crudest possible condition we shall never succeed in building up a great nation.

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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. H. H. MILLER (South Grey).

The hon. member for South York (Mr. Maclean), in speaking this afternoon, said that we were rushing in where angels feared to tread. I see in front of me many men who are filled with fear; I see two or three such men about me on this side of the House. But while the fear is very apparent, I have not discovered the angels among them.

They are filled with fear, and yet I find their fears do not run along the same line. For instance, my hon. friend from Brantford (Mr. Harris), who has just spoken, is filled with fear lest the manufacturers of agricultural implements are not getting enough protection. My hon. friend from Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen) is filled with fear to an equal degree, because he thinks the manufacturers of agricultural implements are getting too much protection on what they manufacture. Let us analyze the fears of these gentlemen, and see whether anybody in connection with this whole proposal has anything really to be afraid of. Sir, in speaking to-night. I purpose meeting the objections to this proposed trade agreement as I find them contained in the speech of the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster), not because it was that hon. gentleman who made the speech, but because, after speaking for four hours and a half, he travelled over the whole ground, and made, I think, all the points that have been contained in the speeches of those who have followed him on the other side of the House in opposition to this agreement. I find it more convenient to take all the objections from the one speech than to take them from several speeches. The hon. member for North Toronto said in the first place:

The situation is one of extreme gravity. I may be wrong, but I have given a great deal of thought to this matter in the course of my political life, and the conviction that is within my heart is that we have never had in Canada any question quite so important as this present one-no issue upon which hang larger and greater consequences.

Sir, the hon. gentleman has had a longer political career than I have, and has had a somewhat remarkable political career. I am not willing to say with him that there never has been in Canada any question quite so important as this; I think there have been other questions of even greater importance. Yet I am willing to say with him that if this cannot properly be termed a question of extreme gravity, it may, indeed, be termed a question of great importance. It is a question so important to the people of Canada that I think we may well brush from our eyes the cobwebs of partisanship and refuse to allow any party feeling to warp our judgment on this matter, but simply consider the question from a large, broad and lofty national viewpoint. The hon. member for North Toronto began his speech by making some rather belittling remarks as to the hon. the Minister of Finance and the hon. the Minister of Customs. Now, Sir, if I thought that the member for North Toronto meant those remarks as a personal slight and a jeer, or as an insult to those two gentlemen i would not notice his remarks at all. But I do not think that his remarks were intended in Mr. MILLER.

any such way; I do not think that he intended to be personal in his remarks further than that he intended his statements as a logical argument upon this question upon the principle : Do men gather grapes of thorns, or fig's of thistles ? The hon. gentleman proceeded to argue that because this was a trade arrangement made by two estimable men, yet not by any extraordinary men, but two simple-minded men, it could not be an agreement that would be of advantage to Canada. The hon, gentleman said:

Two men started out of Ottawa, two very estimable men but not in any way extraordinary.

Again he said:

These two men, consulting with nobody, except with fourteen or thirteen other equally ordinary men-or I might say not more extraordinary men.

And again the hon. gentleman said:

Why, when this pact was made I can imagine the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Justice, two good men, two simple-minded men, two men of fair but limited knowledge, with two clerks with them, facing the trained men of business at Washington, going down there with fear and trembling, wondering if they could get a little bit of a slice so as to justify their going.

The hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sif-ton) makes use of language very similar when he says:

I do not believe that in the recent history of Canada anything has happened which has given to the thinking people of Canada so painful and so sudden a shock as the sudden realization that four or five gentlemen who, by reason of their ability, their years of service and their high position in their party, are in control of the affairs of the dominant political party, can suddenly, of their motion, without discussion, without debate, without the knowledge of the country, commit the country to a radical change of fiscal policy.

Now,. Sir, the fact that the hon. member for North Toronto three times refers in his remarks to the lack of ability or of capacity upon the part of Canada's two r commissioners shows that he was endeavouring to build up such a logical argument as I have stated. Mr. Chairman, I am not intending at this time to give my opinion as to the business ability of the Minister of Finance or of the Minister of Customs. I may say to the House that not long ago I was talking with one of the sanest, shrewdest, most successful, most influential business men of the city of Toronto, and that gentleman made the statement that he did not think that there is upon the American continent to-day another man so well informed upon the tariff question as the present Canadian Minister of Finance. I have said that this is not an opinion that I give as my own. It is the opinion I quote of a

man better able to judge than I, but this I do -say arid I say it without any intention of being offensive to any one, that the Minister of Finan-ce and the Minister of Customs were much better able in 1911 to negotiate such an arrangement as his than was the hon. member for North Toronto when in 1891 he endeavoured to make a similar arrangement with the people of the United States. When I say that I do not endeavour to compare the natural ability of the hon. member for North Toronto with the natural ability of the two gentlemen, members of this cabinet, to whom I have referred, I allow every man in this House, I allow every man without this House in the Dominion of Canada to form his own judgment and come to his own conclusion as to that. The men of Canada have formed their own judgment upon this question, and I am quite willing that that judgment should remain as it is and as it will be. But I do say that there is no place perhaps, in the political or business life of Canada where a man oan and naturally does aquire such a knowledge of tariff matters, and not only of tariff matters, but of the business affairs of Canada as the position which is now occupied by the Minister of Finance, and next to that the position which, is occupied by the Minister of Customs. These hon. gentlemen are day by day and every day receiving through their mail communications from business men all over Canada, from ocean to ocean, engaged in every kind of business and in all this correspondence Canadian business men are revealing to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Customs the innermost secrets, the requirements and necessities of their several businesses. Not only do they receive these communications through the mail, but they acquire information from the delegations of influential business men who wait upon them day after day. The Minister of Finance and the Minister of Customs have upon several occasions gone through the length and breadth of Canada into all the business centres and have consulted the business men, including the farmers-whom I include as amongst the business men of Canada-as to the necessities, requirements and conditions of their businesses.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   FARM CONSERVATION.
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

What year was that?

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Subtopic:   FARM CONSERVATION.
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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

Upon different occasions as my hon. friend knows. The hon. member for North Toronto speaks in terms unnecessarily contemptuous of two gentlemen that went with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Customs to negotiate this bargain -at Washington and to whom he refers as ' clerks.' Who were the two ' clerks ' that went with these hon. gentlemen? The Commissioner of Customs, Mr. McDou-s?ald, who has been for many long years- for a longer period of years than the Liberal party has been in power-engaged in the 155

Department of Customs where he has obtained a very expert knowledge of the business affairs and conditions of Canada. The other gentleman who was referred to as a clerk is Mr. Russell, who for many years was in the employment of the Manufacturers' Association of Canada, where he acquired expert knowledge

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

My hon. friend is mistaken. There is a Mr. Russell who is with the Manufacturers' Association. Mr. Russell to whom the hon. gentleman refers was for a quarter of a century in the customs service, and he has now been transferred to my department. He is not the gentleman who is connected with the Manufacturers' Association.

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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

Then, for 25 years he, with Mr. McDougald, has been engaged by this government as a trade expert. So, I say that no one could have found within the borders of this Dominion four men better able to go to Washington and negotiate such a bargain than the four who were selected. Messrs. Fielding and Paterson in 1911 had been nearly 15 years in their respective cabinet positions. In 1891, when he went on his mission to Washington, had been Minister of Finance for only three years. The hon. member for North Toronto says: How could these two men succeed facing the trained man of business at Washington? But, Sir, he does not name the trained men of business at Washington and I would ask him or any other hon. member on that side of the House to name the trained men of business at Washington who would be more capable of looking after the affairs of the United States in this arrangement than were our commissioners to look after the affairs of Canada. The hon. member for North Toronto contradicts himself in this part of his speech as he does in many other parts. He speaks somewhat belittleingly of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Customs, and the colleagues of these two hon. gentlemen in the cabinet when he says that they consulted with nobody except fourteen or thirteen other equally ordinary men. Then he goes on to prove that these men are not ordinary men, that they are not simple minded men, but that they aTe men of extraordinary business ability, and let me read to you the language by which he gives us the evidence of their ability. The hon. member for North Toronto in his speech says:

It was significant that my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, began his history at 1897

The year when the Liberal government came into power and began to manage the affairs of this country.

-since then Canada has made great progress,

signal progress, despite the burdensome load

we should seek to improve it.' The Prime Minister speaking yesterday of this argument, put our Conservative friends on the Chinese list, and reminded us that they had said in 1896: ' There is now no necessity of making any change; the conditions are all that we would have them to be, and if you make any change, you are likely to make a change for the worse.' In 1896 our Conservative friends said, let well enough alone; but the people of this country did not say that. They said: Let well enough alone may be the motto of the Conservative party for this year 1896, but it is not the motto of the people; our motto is, let there be greater growth, greater development, greater progress, greater prosperity; and they said: If le,t well enough alone is your motto, we will put into power in Canada, a party which has our motto. The people did put that party in power, and the growth and development and advancement of the country under that party has been well described by the hon. member for North Toronto. An hon.Jriend quoted to-day from a letter written by Sir William Van Horne. Let me quote from the same letter these words: .

We are in' an enviable position. Does not common sense tell us to stay where we are, and let well enough alone?

That is the doctrine which Sir William Van Home applies to the political situation. That is the argument of our hon. friends opposite. I have often heard my hon. friend from North Toronto say this, and it was well said, that the principles which actuate a man in the control of his private affairs ought to be the principle of the government in conducting the affairs of the country. What has actuated Sir William Van Horne in conducting his own business or in conducting the business of the great company of which he is a valuable official? In this letter he says:

' Does not common sense tell us to stay where we are?' Sir William Van Horne was a citizen of the United States. He did not say to himself, Let me stay where I am. He said, Let me go to Canada, and he came here, and he made a great deal of money in Canada, and I am free to say that he benefited Canada as well as himself. But he did not then say to himseif, Let me stay where I am; but he went to Cuba, and with the hundreds of thousands of dollars which he made in Canada from the farmers and toilers of this country, he developed the island of Cuba and increased his own fortune; and as he basks under the palm trees of Cuba, he says to us, 1 am sick and ashamed, and tells us what we should do in the conducting of our political affairs. When Sir William Van Horne says, I am sick and ashamed, I remem-Mr. MILLER.

ber that there is a sickness that sometimes comes to men from surfeiting in the good things of life. There is no other kind of sickness that I know of that a man should be more ashamed of. If Sir William Van Horne is surfeited with the good things of the United States, with the good things of Canada, and with the good things of Cuba, and is ashamed of his sickness he had better stay where he is. He was, perfectly loyal when he left the United States to come to Canada; he vTas loyal when he left Canada to go to Cuba; but I do not think he is the man to say to us, stay where you are, be loyal and let things alone. ' The railway company of which Sir William Van Horne is an official, is before our Railway Committee session after session. His company has been doing well and showing large profits. It has been doing its share towards the development of Canada; but does Sir William Van Horne say to the Canadian Pacific Railway: You are doing well, just let well enough alone, do not attempt to make further progress. No, on the contrary he comes to this government for charters to extend the lines of that company in every direction so that it may grow and add to its business and its profits. If that is good business for a Tailway company, is it not equally good business for a government to conduct the affairs of the country along the same line?

Let me look at the history of the Conservative party, and its endeavours to make just such an agreement as is now proposed. In the library the other day I looked over some of the old newspaper files, and I turned to the Toronto ' Empire ' of February, 1891. The ' Empire ' was then the chief organ in Canada of the Liberal-Conservative party. The Conservative party had just determined to appeal to the country in a general election, and the Toronto ' Empire ' was full of campaign literature and campaign articles. Turning to the ' Empire ' of the 4th of February, I found an article on the front page that reads in part as follows:

The 'Empire' is privileged to publish a copy of the despatch from His Excellency the Governor General to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, showing the nature of the government's proposals to the United States, and indicating the earnest desire of the administration for the development of trade between the United States and Canada.

This despatch is dated Government House, Ottawa 13th December, 1890, and the first clause of the government's proposal read as follows:

Renewal of the reciprocity treaty of 1854 with the modifications required by the altered ciieumstances of both countries and with the extensions deemed by the commission to be

in the interests of Canada and of the United States.

So that the Conservative party of that day, endeavouring to make a trade arrangement, realized that any agreement to be made must have advantages to the United States as well as to Canada. They realized that a treaty arrangement could not be a one sided one. The ' Empire ' of that same day went on as follows:

The Dominion thereupon asked the imperial authorities to remind Mr. Blaine that Canada had always been ready for a fair reciprocal arrangement and had made repeated offers to that effect, which, however, had been ignored or refused by the United States.

In an editorial in the same issue the ' Empire ' said:

There is no reason why a fair and honourable reciprocity, advantageous to both Canada and the United States, should not be the issue of such a discussion as is proposed.

The treaty might be fair and reasonable and yet be advantageous to both countries. They do not seem so willing to admit that to-day. The ' Empire ' of the 7th February, 1891, gives a report of a meeting in Toronto at which Sir John Thompson, then Minister of Justice in the Conservative government, made a speech. He is quoted as saying:

A little over three years ago it transpired that negotiations were being entertained by the United States for the making of a treaty of reciprocity with the colony of Newfoundland. These negotiations have not yet ripened into a treaty, but they were proceeding upon lines which were not unlike, so far as they went, the lines which Canada would be willing to pursue in any negotiations with that country, and not, mind you, at the dictation of the British government, as has been asserted in the press opposed to us, but on our line.

Sir John Thompson was then not as superloyal as our Tory friends to-day are. He said that he was willing to negotiate-' and not mind you at the dictation of the British government, as has been asserted by the press opposed to us, but on our own lines.' We in Canada are running our own establishment, he said; we are not being dictated to by Great Britain, and we are negotiating on our own lines for ourselves, independent of Great Britain altogether. He proceeded further:

He said that Sir. Blain had intimated willingness to make a wide treaty for reciprocity and enter upon separate negotiations with Canada. That statement being made, we are hound to avail ourselves of that to extend our trade. We have never declared our willingness to trade with them. On the contrary, we are seeking extension of our trade in every direction.

Was Sir John Thompson disloyal in saying this? I submit he was not. That was a

logical position to take and a logical argument. Sir John Thompson said we are seeking extensions of our trade in every direction, we are seeking to extend our trade with foreign nations long distances away, then why, in the name of common sense, should we not endeavour to extend our trade in the United States? That speech of Sir John Thompson, was delivered in the loyal, the ultra and patriotic city of Toronto. I did not read that he had brick bats thrown at him or eggs or that he was even hissed on that occasion or that our Conservative friends in Toronto accused him of disloyalty. I ask my hon. friends whether on that occasion Sir John Thompson was a simple-minded, ordinary and unpatriotic man.

If my hon. friends would turn up the Toronto ' Empire ' of the 11th February, 1891, they would find an article with large heavy black headlines. Let me read them:

Canada's tenth fair offer. A brief history of reciprocity since 1865. Canada always willing; the United States always turning a deaf ear.

Listen to this if you will:

Nine out of ten offers made since 1865 came from Conservative ministries.

Here is the boast made by the leading Conservative paper in 1891 that whereas the Liberals on one occasion had offered to make a reciprocity

treaty with the United States, the Conservative party on nine different occasions had tried to make such a treaty. Then the ' Empire ' went to work and tabulated the offers made in these ten different times to the United States. The first was in 1865 when Sir John Macdonald, and the Hon. George Brown went to England to seek the aid of the British government, and when Lord John Russell, the British Prime Minister, approached Mr. Adams the United States minister at London, and Mr. Adams said that he was not authorized to give any assurance on behalf of the United States. Thus in 1865 these gentlemen approached the British government to get such a treaty arrangement as we are endeavouring to have enacted. Was the old hero of the Conservative party, who said: 'A British subject I was born and a British subject I will die,' disloyal on that occasion? He was not then accused of being disloyal to Canada and Great Britain.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH UNITED STATES.
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

What was the policy of the hon. gentleman's party in 1891?

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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

I am quite willing to discuss that, but I think it is of small importance what it was. In 1866 the ' Empire ' tells us that the Canadian government sent in January, M. M. Howland. Henry, Galt

and Smith to Washington to negotiate such a treaty as we now have, but they were not successful. In 1868, the year after confederation, a standing offer was inserted in our customs tariff of a reciprocity arrangement, to be proclaimed by order in council on the United States concurring. I ask what mandate had the Conservative party then to make that standing offer in their customs tariff. That offer had not been discussed at any general election.

In 1869 Sir George Cartier and Mr. Mac-dougall, two members of the Conservative government, being in England, urged the British government to try to obtain a treaty of reciprocity, and in June of that same year Sir John Rose, the Conservative Minister of Finance, was sent to Washington, and he met with no success. Was Sir John Rose sent single-handed to Washington to negotiate such a treaty-was he a less ' ordinary ' man than my two hon. friends of the present cabinet? Was he a ' simple-minded ' and only very ' ordinary ' man? Was he a disloyal man? And were Cartier and Maedougail, the two members of the government, who. in England, tried to get the British Government to make such a treaty, disloyal to Canada or to Britain and Britain's flag? And had Cartier and Mac-dougall any mandate from the Canadian people when, in 1869, they sent Sir John Rose to Washington? In 1871 Sir John Macdonald, the old hero of the Conservative party, when negotiating the Washington treaty, offered to exchange the rights of the fisheries for reciprocal trade arrangement, hut the American commissioners refused to negotiate. That was after a general election, but the people had not discussed the question on the hustings. In 1873, a further offer was made by a Conservative government. On this occasion boards of trade in Canada and in the United States had passed resolutions favouring a reciprocity, agreement, and then the Conservative government passed a resolution in favour of such an agreement. and the ' Empire ' refers us to the Canadian Sessional Papers, No. 40, of 1873 to prove what it states. In 1874 a Liberal government under Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, sent Hon. George Brown to Washington to negotiate such a treaty. He succeeded. The American Congress passed the treaty, but the American Senate refused to ratify it. In 1879, in adopting the National Policy, the. Conservative government of Canada placed, for a second time, upon the statute-books of Canada a standing offer of reciprocity with the United States in natural products whenever the United States declared for a similar reciprocity. Now, what were the conditions of that time? There had been a general election in 1878. And what was discussed at that election, and what did the Conservatives under Sir John A. Macdonald lay down as Mr. MILLER.

their platform to be carried out if returned to power? What was discussed in that election was not a proposal to reduce the tariff, but to increase the tariff. But Sir John Macdonald prior to the election discussed the proposal to increase the tariff, and the first thing he did, after the election without a mandate from the people, -was to make a standing offer to the United States to reduce our tariff, in an endeavour to make such an arrangement as we are making to-day. Was he disloyal in 1871, when he made, or in 1878, when he repeated, his offer? In 1888, when the fisheries dispute was under discussion in Washington, Sir Charles Tupper, the old Cumberland war horse, another hero of the Conservative party, desired to settle this matter on the basis of a reciprocal trade treaty. But the American plenipotentiaries refused. Had Sir Charles Tupper anv mandate from the Canadian people in 1888 for such an arrangement? Had this matter been discussed in the election campaign? Not at all. Well, was Sir Charles Tupper disloyal, when, in 1888, he proposed such an arrangement as this? I have never heard it so stated. Then, in 1891, the tenth offer was made, this time by Sir John Macdonald again. He again offered to make a reciprocity arrangement, and representatives were sent in that year to Washington, and went again in the following year, 1892. The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) was one of those who went to Washington in 1891. If hon. members will refer to ' Hansard ' of 1891, page 59, they will read the remarks of the hon. member as he tells of the desire of the Conservative government of that year to make a reciprocity treaty with the United States. And if they will turn to ' Hansard ' of 1892, pages 3301-2. they will read the account that was given by the hon. member for North Toronto of his journey to Washington, of what he sought to accomplish there, and they will read this statement of the hon. member, that he regretted that they were not able to make such an arrangement. The hon. member for North Toronto, who, as Finance Minister of Canada in 1891, had endeavoured to make a reciprocity treaty with the United States, and who in 1892 revretted that he had not been able to make such a treaty, in 1911 wTote an article to the ' Canadian Century.' That article appears in the issue of 18th February last, and in it the hon. member states that the present proposal will be the enemv of interprovincial trade. Now, I ask this question: If this arrangement will be the enemy of interorovineial trade in 1911, would it not much more have been the enemy of interprovincial trade in 1891? In 1911 we have railway communication, we have river and canal communication, between the several provinces of Canada that we had not in 1891. We have facilities for

carrying on interprovincial trade to-day that we had not then, and I repeat that if there is any danger of this arrangement being the enemy of interprovincial trade in this present year, it would have been twenty times more the enemy of interprovincial trade twenty years ago, when the hon. member for North Toronto endeavoured to make such an arrangement.

The argument has been made in this House before that the Conservative party from 1866 to 1891, and up to 1894, were willing to make such an arrangement with the people of the United States. That argument has been met with the statement that conditions have changed in Canada since 1891, but only in this way-every change in conditions indicates that, if such an arrangement as this would have been profitable to Canada in 1891, it will be much more profiable to Canada in 1911. There is not one single argument based upon the fear of annexation or upon the plea of loyalty that will apply to-day that would not have equally applied in 1891. There is not a single economic argument that could be applied as against this arrangement that would not have applied with even greater force to the proposed arrangement in 1891. It is not enough for my hon. friends who oppose the agreement to say that conditions have changed since 1891; they must show what are the changes and must show that these changes make an arrangement injurious to Canada in 1911 that would have been beneficial to Canada in 1891. They have not even attempted to do that, and they cannot possibly do it. And, let me say in passing, I am very glad indeed that conditions are as good in Canada as they are. While we are willing to trade with the people of the United States to-day, and to enter into this proposed agreement, I am very glad, as a Canadian citizen, to know that we do not have to go to the people of the United States, and do not go to the people of the United States, as suppliants; we do not go as a matter of necessity; we do not go asking for alms or charity; but we go to them as man to man. We meet them as they have come to us, business man to business man, to make, if we can, a trade arrangement that will be to our mutual advantage. If we cannot make such an arrangement with our neighbours, if the United States refuse to make such a bargain with us, then we will not feel ourselves crippled, or feel ourselves paralyzed. We will say, we might have got along better with this agreement, but still we can go on and develop our country and our interests; even without such an agreement we can make this a great nation.

Now, Sir, I (call your attention to the manner in which the member for North Toronto complains of the ill-treatment

which we have received from time to time from the people of the United States; and this is not only the argument of one gentleman, it is the argument of every gentleman who has followed him in this debate on the other side of the House. The hon. gentleman says in his speech:

It was the conquest of Canada aimed at in 1775; it was the conquest of Canada aimed at in the years around 1812, and since; it was the conquest of Canada and its incorporation with- the United States aimed at by the methods I have spoken of in respect to our trade and fisheries; and the dominant spirit in the United States that is pushing reciprocity through to a successful enactment is not economic, it is political. It is still the conquest of Canada. But it is conquest of Canada by peaceful means and large gifts.

The hon. gentleman says again:

In all this trouble and toil, when was the hand of the United States extended to us with helpful aid? Not in one single case.

Sir, in answer to that question of the hon. member for North Toronto I ask him another question; I say, when was the occasion, when was the time, *'that the people of Canada asked the United States to extend to them a helpful hand? I say not in one single case; and I am glad that the time never was when Canadians were so lacking in spirit, when Canadians were so lacking in confidence in their own ability, so lacking in confidence in their own country, that they went to the United States as beggars and asked them to hold out to us a helpful hand. Sir, the United States, through all these years, has been busy, as it had a right to be busy, in developing their own country, as we have been busy in developing our country. What is the good of any man to-day rising in this House to complain of the ill-treatment that he fancies we have received from the United States in 1775? The people who endeavoured the conquest of Canada in 1775 are dead to-day, they got their answer when they endeavoured to conquer Canada in 1775. The people who endeavoured to make trouble for us in 1812 got their reply, and they are dead. Why then endeavour to reopen old sores? Why then endeavour to visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children. There are men who never forget an injury, there are men who never overlook a mistake, but these are not the best men. The member for North Toronto endeavours to incite and provoke the feeling of the people of Canada against the people of the United States by a comparison of trade, and he says:

And there was, in the third place, the wide spread dissatisfaction with the condition of things imposed upon us by the United States of America in accepting a $104,000,000 free list

from us and giving us but a $33,000,000 one in return, in buying from us a paltry $10,000,000 worth and of selling to us $223,000,000 worth; of meeting a Canadian tariff of 26 per cent by a United States tariff of 41J per cent. There was a feeling in the country that that was not a neighbourly thing for them to do, not fair business treatment, not what we would expect from a great and rich and powerful neighbour. These were the three things that were mooted as grievances in the country.

Sir, we make our tariff and the United States makes its tariff. We impose upon our people a burden of 26 per cent, the government of the United States impose upon its people a burden of 41 i per cent, and that is what the people of the United States are complaining of to-day, that they have been carrying a burden too great for them to bear. That is what has put the Republican party out of power in the United States, and brought into power the Democratic party. Sir, if the United States, through all these long years, have been patient enough to bear the burden of 411 per cent, while our people were only bearing a burden of 26 per cent, that is a matter for the people of the United States to regulate, as they are doing it to-day. It is perfectly true that we sold to the United States only $100,000,000 worth of goods per annum, while they have been selling us goods to the amount of $223,000,000 per annum. Is there any fair and just cause for complaint in that? When you analyse the figures what do they mean? They mean simply this, that every Canadian citizen, upon an average, sold' Canadian goods to the United States to the amount of $12.50 apiece, but that every American sold only $2.48 worth of American goods to the people of Canada; in other words, that the Canadians sold between five and six times as much Canadian goods j>er head to the people of the United States as they had sold to us.

But then we are met with this argument: Mr. Taft seeks relief from a nasty position, Mr. Taft is in a rather bad predicament in the United States. Why relieve Mr. Taft? Why should we, the Canadian people, relieve Mr. Taft from the nasty position in which he finds himself? They would not trade with us when we wanted to trade with them, now let us refuse to negotiate with them. Sir, I say that that is nonsense, I say that that is the talk of children, not the talk of business men. We are used to hearing a child, with frowning eye and with pouting lip, say: You would not play with me, now I will not play with you. But that is not the talk of a business man. Suppose^ desire to buy my neighbour's farm. I feel that if I bought that farm from my neighbour, I could use it to advantage. I go to the old man and make him a good Mr. MILLER.

offer for his farm, he refuses t-o sell. I go to him a second, third, fourth and fifth time, and he refuses to sell. The old man passes away, his son inherits the farm. I go to him and make him an offer the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth time, and be refuses those offers. I then say, I will not go back to that man again. I would like to have his farm, it would be profitable for me to have it, but he and his father before him, have refused nine offers, ten offers, I will not go back to him. But that man passes away, and a grandson inherits the farm. Then he comes to me and he says. Now I have not the same ideas that my father had and my grandfather had, I have not the same intentions or inclinations, I am willing to sell to you my farm, I would like to sell it to you. Now if I am a fool, I will say to that man, No, I tried to trade with your father, I tried to do business with your grandfather, and they refused to do business with me, now I will not do any business with you. But if I am a wise man, I will not talk like that, I will say: Now I am glad that conditions have changed, I am glad this young man looks upon the matter differently from what his father and grandfather did. If I can buy this farm now at a fair price, if I can make a reasonable bargain, I have now a good opportunity, and I will do so. That is the manner I think that we as business men should adopt in regard to this matter. We should not be children, we should approach the people.of the United States as we aTe doing, as man to man, in a business manner; and realizing that if we are to make a bargain with the people of the United States, it must be a bargain that will be an advantage to them as well as to us. No one can make a trade that will be a lasting arrangement unless it contains mutual advantage. This is true of school boys when they swap their jack knives; each one must hope to get an advantage from the trade or he would not make the trade, and as it is true of school boys swapping their jack knives, so it is equally true of nations when they undertake to make international treaties. Now, I have reached a point in my speech where I can conveniently step and as it as after eleven o'clock I beg to move that the committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again.

Progress reported.

Mr. FIELDING moved the adjournment of the House. He said: Before the adjournment I desire to say that there was an understanding that on Friday my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) would make a statement upon matters connected with his department. He de-

. sires to vary that now and I therefore beg to say that on Friday my-hon. friend the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Graham) will make a statement concerning his department and the Minister of the Interior will postpone his statement until Monday. I would be very glad if hon. gentlemen who are interested in those two departments would be kind enough to observe the change.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   FARM CONSERVATION.
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Motion agreed to, and the House adjourned at 11.30 o'clock p.m.



Thursday, March 9, 1911.


March 8, 1911