March 8, 1911

IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

So they will in the future.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

My hon. friend should not be a prophot; it is not wise to prophesy, unless you know, and my friend's knowledge is no greater than that of the average of mankind. The matter does not rest there. I assure you the president of the United States has loyally kept his part of the bargain; we are asking the parliament of Canada to see that for the honour and good name of Canada, no matter what we may think of the details of this measure, this parliament will keep the engagement which in the name of -the Canadian people, we made with the government of the United States. What do we find? No sooner had it been determined that this filibustering movement at Washington was to be successful, no sooner had it been made apparent that the good intentions of the president of the United States were to be frustrated by that movement, then President Taft in his anxiety to keep faith with the Canadian government and people, called an extra session of Congress.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

The minister referred to something being frustrated by some movement. Would he tell us what movement?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Do I understand that this special session is being called for the special purpose of dealing with this? Is- it not a fact that the new Congress may deal with any question and refuse to deal with this question?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

This Congress is to be called for the special purpose of dealing with this question; they may deal with other questions -surely, -a- -thousand.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

And may they not leave this question entirely alone if they see fit?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

They may leave it alone, Congress i-s -a free -body just as this parliament is, but as my hon. friend asked the special purpose for which this Congress was called, we will let the president speak for himself, let the document -speak for itself:

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I ML 1PROCLAMATION.


The President's proclamation reads: 'Whereas, in a special message dated January 26, 1911, there was transmitted to the Senate and House of Representatives an agreement between the Department of State and the Canadian government in regard to reciprocal tariff legislation, together with an earnest recommendation that the necessary legislation be promptly adopted; and 'Whereas, a bill to carry into effect said agreement has passed the House of Representatives, but failed to reach a vote in the Senate; and 'Whereas, the agreement stipulates not only that the President of the United States will communicate to Congress the conclusions now reached and recommend the adoption of such legislation as may he necessary on the part of the United States to give effect to the proposed agreement, but also that the governments of the two countries will use their utmost efforts to bring about suc-h changes bv concurrent legislation at Washington and at Ottawa; Now, therefore, I, William Howard Taft, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power vested in me by the constitution, do hereby proclaim and declare that an extraordinary occasion requires the convening of both -houses of the Congress of the United States at their respective chambers in the city of Washington on the fourth of April, 191-1, at twelve o'clock noon, to the end that they may consider and determine whether the Congress shall by the necessary legislation make operative the agreement. All persons entitled to act as members of the sixty-second _ Congress are required to take notice of this proclamation. 'Given under my hand and the seal of the United States at Washington the fourth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eleven, and of the independence of the United States, the one hundred and thirty-fifth. „ , „ WILLIAM H. TAFT.' By the President.


P. C. KNOX,


Secretary of State.



I hope I have satisfied my hon. friend from St. Antoine (Mr. Ames) that this Congress is called in special session to keep faith with the government of Canada in this important matter. A duty rests upon this government. A duty we -believe rests on the parliament of Canada, so far as it is willing to give us its support; whether the members agree with this agreement or arrangement or not, there should be no division of opinion as to -the obligation which we, as a young nation, have entered into with the great nation beside ns. The president of the United States is loyally doing his part, it remains with us to loyally do ours. How? By throwing i-t overboard and saying we will have nothing more to do with it?


IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

Yes, we have that right.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Shame on that suggestion. It finds no favour here. We desire that this matter -shall be discussed, as I stated in the earlieT stages of the debate, not hastily, not in a -rush, not unduly; we desire that every member of this House shall have abundant opportunity to form and express his views, we -desire that every member shall have -abundant opportunity to give his free and untrammelled vote, but we say we should, -day by day, not to the exclusion of all other business, but -to the exclusion of things of less importance, keep this measure -before us, and prove -to the people of the United States that we are going to keep faith -and to fulfil the contract we made with them. We believe, Sir, that that is the only true policy to adopt. Somebody must move first. It is childish to say that one side must wait for the other to move; if that policy were -adopted we could do- nothing. If the United States Congress had debated that matter and voted against it, if the Senate of the United States, after what had occurred in the House of Representatives, had declared it would1 not pass this measure, if there were good reasons to believe that the United States Congress were refusing to implement the president's engagement, that would be the time for us to consider what next. That time has -not arisen. The president has tried his best to have it passed in the Congress that has- just transpired; he means to do the -same in the Congress that is to meet very shortly. We say, let us put this measure on our statute-book, and then, if within a reasonable time the United States Congress fail to do their part, we shall be free to consider what nex-t. In the meantime, I say that the honour of the Dominion government and through the Dominion government the honour of the country, is pledged -to this arrangement with the United States. While I quarrel with no Mr. FIELDING

man for differing from us on the merits . of the agreement, I say there is no Toom for difference as to our condemnation of the motion which the hon. leader of the opposition has placed in yo-ur hands.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. GEORGE E. FOSTER (North Toronto).

There is nothing, Sir, in the argument which lias been addressed to the House by the hon. Minister of Finance that calls for a reply from this side of the House. If there was needed any single indication of the position in which Canada was placed when my hon. friend and his colleague went to Washington and made this compact-if there was anything needed to show why these two men should not have gone, or more particularly why the present Minister of Finance should not have gone, it was amply supplied in the remarks he has just made. I can hardly trust myself to characterize my impressions and my feelings at the effort which has been made by the Minister of Finance. After the argument which was put up by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, short, pertinent, and especially strong, we naturally looked for the Finance Minister to make some rebuttal of that argument- to at least attempt to answer it; but I leave it to you, Mr. Speaker, and to this House and to the country, if the hon. gentleman made any attempt to answer a single one of the strong positions taken by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition. Instead of attempting to argue upon the merits of the case, he has made three or four genera, assertions, and I would not have been on my feet at this moment if it had not been for the bad doctrine, the inadmissible doctrine, which my hon. friend has put forth. What are those assertions, in brief? In the first place, the general assertion was made, and not qualified, that it is quite sufficient on every occasion to give time for the discussion of a measure in parliament, and that if that is done the people have no right to complain that the matter has not been submitted to them for their approval. What does that mean, Sir? It means that once a parliament has been elected the people count for nothing. It means that mandates are not necessary. It means that two men in a government can bind the country by their sign-manuals, that they can deliver the goods, and that, provided you give parliament a reasonable length of time to discuss their proposal, the people have no concern in the matter at all, and ought not to be applied to. You only need to state that doctrine to see how untenable it is. Is my hon. friend afraid of the people? He was very brave in declaring that they were going to make every man on this side of the House poll his vote. Every man on this side is willing and ready to poll his vote; but, different from my hon. friends opposite, every man on this side is willing

that the people shall poll their vote too. The hon. leader of the opposition has put it up to my right hon. friend to go to the people as the final court of appeal, and let the votes be polled where the people are free, and not bound, as representatives of the people often are in the House of Commons. Now, that is the position which is democratic; that is the position which will appeal to the country, and again I state, and will state it to the end of this debate, instead of two men binding the country to a reversal of the policy of this country for 30 years, let the people say whether they wish to have that policy changed or not. It is arbitrary, it is tyrannical, it is the very opposite of responsible and free government, to take the position which my hon. friend has taken to-day.

The Finance Minister also said that the hon. leader of the opposition and other gentlemen on this side of the House knew that the country was against them. Well, Sir, whether the country be against us or not, we take the fair position that we are willing to submit the matter to the country to see what their real views are. In that we differ from hon. gentlemen opposite, who are not willing to submit it to the country, who fear of all things an appeal to the country on this matter at this moment. What folly it is to say that because 200 members of parliament, for ten days, twenty days, two months, three months, debate a matter in parliament, that gives the people sufficient knowledge, and that is sufficient to preclude your going to the people. Suppose that does give the people sufficient knowledge, suppose that the object of a two months' debate here is to give the people knowledge, why are you giving the people knowledge if not to know what the people think about it? And how are you to know what the people think about it if you do not submit the matter to the people and get their vote upon it? So that the very doctrine implied in the argument of the Finance Minister, that we should give leisurely time for the information to filter through the country, involves as a necessary consequence the conclusion that the reason for giving the information is that the people may know how to cast their ballots when they go to the polls to decide this question for themselves.

The Minister of Finance had so little thought of the dignity of his position and of what ought to weigh with him and other men on a question like this that he endeavoured to array the ' knights ' against the ' horny handed sons of toil.' If that is the issue, says my hon. friend, if it is Sir Van Home against the man with the smock frock and the cap on his head; if it is these ' estimable Sirs ' against the horny handed sons of toil, we welcome the issue. Well, it is onlv necessary to state this position to stigmatize it for what it is

worth. It is worth absolutely nothing; it is worth less than nothing. It is a bad doctrine, one which no people like the people of Canada will stand. For how long has my hon. friend had such a deep contempt for ' estimable Sirs '? He has eaten at their boards, he has sat beside them at their council table, he has even ridden with them on the public highway. But .to-day he has found out that these ' Sirs ' have no standing when compared with the horny handed sons of toil. I doubt if there is a man in this House, or a man in this country, who has put more hard work into a lifetime than Sir W'illiam Van Horne himself; and it does not remove him from the category of industrious and honourable citizens that her late Majesty saw fit to recognize his great services by conferring a title upon him. This appeal of the minister is to be characterized simply as an unworthy appeal.

Now, the minister lays down this doctrine; can we for a single moment adhere to it? Here we have this agreement : it is not for us to ask whether there was a mandate for the agreement, or even whether the agreement is a good one; it is not for us to ask whether it twists the destinies and fortunes of this country in the wrong way or not; all we have to look at is, was there an agreement between the government and Mr. Taft?-if there was we are not to look at the agreement, we are simply to be loyal to the gentlemen who have signed with the President' of the IJnited States. Why, then, are we discussing this matter at all? What was the necessity of having a single hour's discussion upon the merits of it? According to the Minister of Finance, the only question at issue is this: Shall we loyally carry out what two men promised Mr. Taft we would carry out?-it is this and this alone that parliament has to think about and vote upon. I deny this wholly, for my part; I deny it for gentlemen on this side of the House; and I think I can deny it for every man of common sense in the country. The question really is: By what right did these gentlemen make that agreement?-who authorized them to sign an agreement with Mr. Knox and Mr. Taft pledging the two countries to carry out this trade arrangement? These two gentlemen purported to sign something for the good of their country; but it was to be determined by this parliament in a constitutional way. Now, the minister tells us that it does not matter at all a3 to the agreement at issue; the only point is that the faith of the Dominion of Canada, is pledged. Who pledged it? And what mandate had they to pledge it? I thought we were discussing this agreement as to whether it was beneficial to the country or not. But now we are told-and the gov-

"eminent evidently stand behind the Finance Minister-that the thing we are discussing, the thing we are asked to decide, is as to whether we shall keep faith with Mr. Taft or not. Now, my hon. friend (Mr. Fielding) did not do justice to himself when he quibbled on the point as to whether the Congress has passed this agreement or not. Has Congress passed it?-that is the only question. Before which Congress was this agreement? Before the 61st Congress, 3rd session. Did that Congress pass it or not? Is this session of Congress now in existence? The next Congress that comes into existence, will not be the 61st Congress. The 61st Congress is functus offico and can do no more legislative work. It is dead, and it has not passed the agreement. Therefore, just exactly as my hon. friend (Mr. Borden, Halifax) said, the Congress has declined to pass it.

Now, my hon. friend talks about filibustering tactics. As it happened, the matter got before the Senate of the United States in the late hours of the session, when there was a congestion of business, and the Senate declined to take this up in preference to other measures which had been sent it by the House of Representatives. Not ten minutes was spent in the Senate in the discussion of, or attempt to get a discussion of this question. Senator Gore attempted to get in an amendment when the Tariff Commission Bill was being passed through, but he was ruled out of order by the Speaker. The few minutes consumed by Senator Gore in trying to get his amendment before the Senate and the ruling of it out of order is all the time given by the Senate to this subject. So it was not talked out or filibustered out. But it makes no difference; the 61st Congress did not pass it, and the 61st Congress is dead. Now, Sir, there is just this difference.

If the Governor General of Canada had pledged himself to Mr. Taft, or anybody else, to call a session of this parliament and bring the measure before this parliament and do his utmost to have it passed, such a pledge would have some force in it. But Mr. Taft has no more power over the 62nd Congress than has any official in the administration of the United States. Their system of government is absolutely different from_ ours. Consequently, no pledge which President Taft can give need necessarily be implemented by the Congress of the United States. The next Congress will be one outside of the Republican party, to which the President of the United States belongs. It will take its own course and do such woTk as it pleases entirely regardless of any pledge President Taft may have given. Of what effect or force, therefore, has the proclamation of President Taft as read by my hon. friend the Finance Minister? Mv purpose in rising was to protest Mr. FOSTER

against what I consider to be two bad points of doctrine. One, that the people need not be consulted provided you give parliament a certain length of time to discuss the question; and the other, that because two or three members of the government, without a mandate from the people, choose to commit themselves to an arrangement with another country, this country is bound in loyalty and good faith to carry that out. It is for this parliament to go clown into the essence of the question itself, and if the thing itself is not good for this country to decline to pass it and throw the responsibility on the gentlemen who made the agreement without a mandate.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York).

The question submitted to the House involves a great organic change in the constitution of this country. It involves the idea that hereafter the tariffs of Canada are to be made in secret negotiations with other countries. That is a change of the most momentous kind. It is an organic change so sweeping in its character that the people of Canada ought to be consulted before it is made. There is a proverb which says that he who gives quickly gives twice, but there is also a proverb which says that those who act hastily rush in where angel? fear to tread. Now, there is no reason under the sun why this matter should be rushed through. If this is a democratic country and the people ought to rule, should we not consult the people before we enact such an organic change in our constitution? I am ready to trust the people of Canada, but I am not ready to trust the three tailors of Tooley street, who say that what they propose is what the people of England want. There sits the master tailor and his two apprentices on either side. No harm can be done by the fullest deliberation of this matter, but a great deal may be done by rushing it through. In fact, the future of our country is at stake. If this measure be a good thing it will stand all the deliberation we can give it. We can go to the country on the question this coming fall if we wish. The people would be quite willing that a redistribution measure should be introduced and a proper representation given to the west and the cities of this country. We hear about the insolence of the cities and manufacturing towns in criticising this policy, but take Toronto and the suburban riding I represent; what have we there? We have a population of 400,000. With what representation? With six members only, or one member for each 60,000. The same in Montreal, the same in Vancouver, Winnipeg and the other cities of this Dominion. Yet the people who live in these cities are stigmatised as not being the equal of those who live in the rural paTts. Let us have a proper redistribution Bill; let us give repre-

sentation by population; then let us go to the country, and let every man's vote be as good as every other man's. What we want is deliberation. We do not want to be rushed into an agreement that .involves the very future of the country and our alliance with the mother land. What are we asked to do? We have had a National Policy in this country during a great many years, and that policy succeeded so well that two of the leading provinces have adopted it from a provincial point of view. The provinces of Quebec and Ontario have adopted the National Policy with regard to the pulp-wood and paper making industry, and have declared for a policy of their own to encourage that industry within their own respective provinces. And that policy has been successful.

What has happened on this occasion? Two men in the government of this country go to Washington and sign a secret treaty which puts a big stick in the hands of President Taft with which to club two of our provinces into making concessions to the United States. Is that patriotic? Is that a precedent to establish hastily? The President of the United States is given a club by two representatives of the government of Canada with which to coerce our provinces into any policy he may see fit to impose on them. Surely in a matter of that kind the fullest deliberation ought to be given. The people of Canada do not want to be rushed into this bargain. They wish to be heard before it is completed, and they wish to have full time to discuss it. They wish to have it discussed in the schoolhouses of the back concessions and townships. That is their right, but we are taking from them the right of public meeting and discussion. I say that we should have public meetings all over this country for the discussion of this measure before we decide to adopt it. And I pledge myself to do what I can to keep this question in this House until the people of Canada have had the opportunity of discussing it from one end of the country to the other. British Columbia wishes to discuss it in detail; so does Nova Scotia. I met some men from Nova Scotia interested in the fishing industry, who told me that after considering this thing a second time they thought it was wrong. But they are to be denied the privilege of sober second thought, according to the speech of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), and we are simply to be rushed into this thing because two or three members of the government made an improvident deal with the President of the United States. The honour of the country, I say again, is not involved, but the discretion and the.wisdom of those who made this bargain are in question. They talk about keeping their word with the United States, and about a breach, of

V

honour. But what about their disregard of the rights of parliament to fully discuss this matter and pass its opinion on any tariff Bill introduced into this House? One of the serious objections to a measure of this kind is that not even parliament can alter it. The people are to have no say about it, parliament is to have no say about it, even the followers of the government are to have no say about it, and the consequence is that Liberals all over the country object to going into a proposition on which they cannot be heard.

A while ago I was discussing a question in this House which involved the idea of responsible government. I believe it is the right of a government to assume responsibility upon matters which they introduce into this parliament. They may have to do it in matters of war; they may have to do it in matters of policy; but when a great organic change is proposed, when the relations of this country to the mother land are involved, then I say time must be taken, the people must be consulted, and an opportunity must be given them to pass upon it. To-day they are to be denied the privilege of passing upon this question, and they are asked to rush it through. Why this haste? Cannot President Taft deliver the goods he has signed to deliver? He is an important man. I had occasion to sav the other day that he is the only man in diplomacy to-day whose name and whose signature is not worth the paper on which it is written, because he cannot deliver the goods. AH he says is, I will undertake to do it, I will submit it to Congress. But Canada is bound to pass it through, according to lion, gentlemen opposite. All Mr. Taft undertakes to do is to submit it to Congress, but we are asked to put it through parliament. He has delivered the goods when he has submitted them to Congress, but according to the Minister of Finance, we have not finished our part of the contract until we have put it on,4he statute-book. President Taft has less power in the new Congress than he had in the old one. The new Democratic Congress is committed to reduce the tariff all round, amd they will do it. If we had only waited until the Democrats had had an opportunity of reducing the tariff, there would have been no need of this upset in our public affairs. Let the Democrats Teduce the tariff as far as they like, and after they have gone as far as they wish, we may get far more than we are getting under the present proposals. In fact, if hon. gentlemen want to get wider markets from the United States let them withdraw now and put the responsibility on the Democratic party.

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES.

Does the hon. gentleman want more? I understand that he is displeased at getting so much.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

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CON

William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. B. NORTHRUP (East Hastings).

Mr. Speaker, I would not have ventured to occupy the time of the House at this stage of the session had it not been for one observation made by the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), when he lately addressed the House. I differ from my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) who expressed his surprise that the Minister of Finance had no argument to advance in answer to the admirable speech made by my hon. friend the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax). I differ from my hon. friend from North Toronto in that respect; I did not expect any argument to be advanced by the Minister of Finance in answer to those supporting the motion when he would dare to come before parliament with the most important piece of legislation that has been presented in years, and not even pretend to advance any argument in its support except to offer the supposititious history of the negotiations touching reciprocity. This tragedy of errors, I think I am justified in calling it, has become more and moi'e complete, and perhaps the most remarkable feature of the minister's answer was that, in pointing out why the motion should not be adopted, he was very careful to throw away from himself the belted knight and to declare to this House, and the country that he represented the toiling masses. I w'rote down his exact words, and so I am prepared to pledge my faith that he said that in introducing and supporting this agreement- he was doing so in the interest of the tolling masses. I suppose that it is perfectly reasonable to say that when the Minister of Finance spoke of toiling masses he was speaking intelligently having reference to a certain definite class of people in his mind, or else he was talking unpardonable twaddle. I do him the justice to believe that he thought he was speaking of them in the former way. Who would the toiling masses be in the Dominion of Canada for whom he presumes to speak? Who would they be down in his own province of Nova Scotia? I suppose it would be fair to assume that the men who are toiling in the coal mines of Nova Scotia would be included among the toiling masses, and he stands here to show his love and devotion to them by reducing the duty on coal eight cents a ton in the interest of that portion

of the toiling masses who work in the mines of Nova Scotia. That is the way that he represents that section of the toiling masses. He will find in his own province men toiling in the iron industry. While the iron industry is perhaps not very much affected, yet rods are put on the free list and whatever protection there is in that item for the iron industry, and, therefore, in the interest of this portion of the toiling masses who are engaged in the iron industry, is taken away. If there is anything in this treaty, this pact, for the farmers of Nova Scotia it must be because they will get more for their products hereafter than they have been able to get heretofore. I do not say that will be the result, but if there is anything in it, it must be that, and so the hon. gentleman stands up here and assumes to speak on behalf of the toiling masses who are to be .benefited by decreased wages, and an increased cost of living. Then, we come westward to New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, dotted with manufacturing towns and cities, and I presume that any man who understands the English language will admit that the men who are working in our factories are a portion of the toiling masses.

I cannot imagine what justification the Minister of Finance has for standing up . here before this intelligent House, and saying that this pact is introduced in the interest of that portion of the toiling masses that we find in the workshops and factories of Ontario. Has there been anything coming over the ground from the various workshops and factories? Is it possible that he reads the papers? Has he received any communications, is he not aware, as I believe he must be aware, that the practical men who are working in the workshops and factories of Ontario are opposed to this pact? Then we go to the west; we go to the prairie farmers-the grain growers, perhaps I should say. I cannot believe that, as a matter of accurate description, he would be justified in calling the men who are becoming rich-as we are all glad to see by growing grain in the Northwest, the toiling masses. I am afraid that the farmers of my own province of Ontario, who are an industrious, prosperous and contented people, would be offended by being described as a portion of the toiling masses. In the far distant province of British Columbia again we have our mines, and we have a portion of the toiling masses at work in them. If my description be true-if not I hope to be corrected-I would like to ask what possible justification the Minister of Finance could have for saying that, in introducing this pact to this House, and in opposing the suspension of a consideration of it, he was standing up" for and supporting the interests of the toiling masses of this country. If the hon. gentleman had not the faintest idea whom he represented

as he has not, if the hon. gentleman "who made the bargain has not the faintest idea what his bargain is, I ask, is it not a reasonable proposition that other people who have not had the same opportunity that he has had should have au opportunity of studying so wide-reaching and far-spreading an agreement as this? When I say that the hon. gentleman does not understand his own bargain I justify that statement by his own speech in which he introduced the bargain to the House. After the Minister of Finance had used up column after column of ' Hansard ' with an historical retrospect, very interesting, but unhappily inaccurate, he, in a half dozen lines at the end of his speech, referred in a rather contemptuous way to a few old musty, almost forgotten treaties which Great Britain had made, and which would allow a few countries other than the United States to enjoy the advantages of this pact. Ought not any man, as honest as I am sure the Minister of Finance is, as appreciative of his responsibilities to this House as I am sure he is, as regardful of- his reputation in the country as he must be, in introducing any important piece of legislation of this kind involving an agreement between Canada and the United States which also brought in twelve other countries at a cost to them of not one penny, and to whom we open our doors, to have called the attention of the members of this House to that fact, that it might honestly and intelligently consider the question, especially in view of the circumstance thqt by reason of this pact, whatever we might receive from the United States, we could by no possibility receive anything from these other countries to whom our doors are thrown open. I feel that I am all the more justified in assuming that the Minister of Finance was acting honestly, but under a misunderstanding of his own bargain from what the right hon. gentleman said only yesterday when he pointed out, that, even if the Argentine Republic had the advantage of the Canadian market, and could send her wheat into Canada, Canada on the same principle could send her wheat into the Argentine Republic, and that was an ample and a perfectly satisfactory explanation in the mind of the hon. gentleman.

When I hear such statements I feel justified in saying that no wiser motion could be made than that the consideration of this important measure should be postponed for at least a time in order that the Finance Minister might learn that in the Argentine Republic labourers are content with about 45 cents a day, and until we are ready in Canada, as the government has declared it is ready, to reduce^the wages of the men employed on our farms to 45 cents a day, we cannot compete with the Argentine Republic. And even when Mr. NORTHRTJP.

we have reduced our wages to a point where we can compete, we are met with a duty when our wheat reaches the Argentine, which their wheat does not when it reaches .Canada. So under no possible combination of circumstances can we deal in wheat with the Argentine Republic. The Minister of Finance pointed out that President Taft had agreed to recommend this -pact to Congress ,that Congress had died without discussing it and he had recommended it to a second Congress and he said that therefore we were in honour bound to keep on with the consideration of the case. Does it not strike him, if his argument is sound and his logic worth listening to, that if our American friends discuss this and do not actually kick it out of doors, if the Democratic party choose to go on with its own measures without refusing to consider this, we are bound to stay here until Doomsday to keep our faith or else must pass this enactment without having the faintest idea of what they intend to do. Would not one think that when such an opportunity was offered to the government of reasonably postponing the decision of the question, they would have discovered that no other party in the world but the present government would have made such a bargain as this with a high tariff party, already defeated when their successful opponents were elected, pledged to a low tariff. When they had once made the mistake of having a bargain with the high tariff party instead of with the low, if the interests of the country appealed to them, they would be only too glad now, the President having done his part and failed, to carry out all he agreed to do-for all he agreed to do was to submit the matter to Congress and recommend its adoption-the President having failed in what was expected on his side, one would expect that the government would have taken advantage of these facts and if they were bound to make a bargain would have made it with those who would be a thousand times more willing to make a bargain than the Taft administration were before the present Congress came into power. That would seem self-evident and if the government had been acting in the interests of the country instead of from some motive I cannot explain, they would have adopted the course I have suggested.

I do not pretend to say why they have acted as they have done but it is common report from one end of Canada to the other that the only reason the pact was made was in order to divert the attention of the people of Canada and particularly of the right hon. gentleman's own province of Quebec, from the unhappy naval policy to which this country is pledged. I cannot vouch for that but from end to end of

the country it is said that this is another price we are paying for our Canadian navy. Knowing the feeling of the people of Quebec and other provinces against this extraordinary expenditure of $22,000,000 on the army and navy, the government wished to draw a herring across the scent and so sent ambassadors to the United States to make a bargain. By doing so, they have attracted a good deal of attention for a little while, the people have forgotten the navy, although when an election comes on they will remember it again; but would it not be worth while for the government to abandon for a while their personal interests and consider the interests of the country and if they are bound to make a bargain make it with the party pledged by Champ Clarke, in the House of Representatives, to reduce the duties on the necessities of life as soon as they came into power to the vanishing point or remove them altogether. If they removed the American duties on the necessaries of life we would have all we have got to-day and more. The Canadian farmer would have better access to the American market under what Champ Clark promised to the House of Representatives under this agreement. Strange to say there are gentlemen sitting behind the government who, after carefully avoiding listening to the debates, up to ten minutes ago actually had not the faintest conception of what the objection of Canadians to this agreement is. The hon. gentlemen seem to think that as long as Canadians get access into the American market they should be satisfied. No one >on this side of the House is objecting to any admission of Canada to the American market. The Americans have control of their tariff and can remove the duty on everything tomorrow and we would have no reason to object but surely even some of the hon. gentlemen opposite should be able to under stand the difference between getting' access to the American market and the Americans and 12 other nations getting access to the Canadian market. I apprehend that before the country has finished discussing this question, many hon. gentlemen opposite will find that the constituents who sent them here perfectly understand the difference between getting admission to the American market which the leader of the winning party in the United States says they are obliged to give us anyway, and giving the Americans and 12 other countries, for nothing, admission to our markets. If hon. gentlemen could only for once take their eyes off the foreign country and fasten them on their own they would see that the interests of Canada are as they have been admitted to be by this and preceding governments, to keep the Canadian markets for the* Canadian people.

Although I do not pretend to stand here on behalf of the toiling masses, I do represent an agricultural constituency and therefore, I am prepared to support the motion made by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden) because I stand here to protest, as the representative of an agricultural constituency, against the compact made in 1878 and renewed in 1897 being violated by the hon. gentlemen opposite; I stand here to protest against the bargain by which the province of the Minister of Finance gets a duty on coal and iron which is of no benefit to my province of Ontario and by which Ontario is given a duty on her breadstuffs being violated, it being understood that the duty on breadstuffs was a sort of bargain. Nova Scotia being given one thing and Ontario another. I warn the Finance Minister that if he is as regardless of his own province as he apparently is of the Dominion as a whole, the farmers whom he has selected as the particular objects of his animosity, who, of all people, are to be deprived of protection, whose markets are to be given not to the United States but to the world, I warn that hon. gentleman that if he really is true to his newly found and oft-professed although rarely acted-up-to belief in the doctrine of protection, the day is not far distant when the farmers of Ontario will say: We only

bear the duty on coal and iron in consideration of a duty on our products and sinice that was the direct bargain made in 1878 and renewed since, as you have broken the bargain, and removed our duties, we will insist that the duty on coal and iron be removed in order that justice may be done. I, as a protectionist, would be exceedingly sorry to see a movement of that kind on the part of the agricultural element of this country. I think perhaps the most dangerous feature in this measure is the unhappy setting of one class against another, for nobody can possibly argue, even the Finance Minister, and the Prime Minister know it is impossible to argue this agreement on any platform without denouncing the manufacturers and appealing to the farmers. If it is to the interests of this country to set class against class, let us proceed with this discussion, but if not, let us know that the true basis of our national prosperity is a protective policy, then let all classes enjoy it, or as the farmers say, either all shall have it or none, and I am sure there is no man in Canada so rampant a free trader, except possibly the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark), as to believe that it is the true interests of Canada that all protection should be removed from all industries.

One other word. It seems to me that the Minister of Finance threw out a hint that while he intended to give ample op-

portunity for every member to discuss the question, the House was not to sit here indefinitely. I take his hint to be that if necessary a closure would be applied in order to secure a vote on this important question. I sincerely hope that I misunderstood the hon. gentleman. I am not going to ask him whether I understood him rightly or wrongly. If I understood him rightly, I would be sorry to have him repeat the statement and be bound by it. But in the discussion of a question like this, on which the people of this country are more excited than on any other, because there has perhaps been a time when their pockets have been so immediately touched, whether we are right or wrong, if the discussion were to be shut off by the application of a closure, I am inclined to think that we would come nearer to a rebellion in Canada than we have been for many a day. It is bad enough to have the rights of this House taken away; it is bad enough to have two gentlemen go to Washington and sign a treaty which binds every man in this House, which for the first time in Canada compels us to vote for items whether we like them or not

Sime hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   P. C. KNOX,
Permalink

March 8, 1911