May 3, 1911

LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

The hon member for Grenville said that the facts and figures he was quoting were not in the blue-book, and I said, no, but that the imports and exports of articles that concern our country were there. I would not be positive but I think that if you look at 'Hansard' you will find that the hon. member for Grenville said that with reference to certain figures which he quoted, and which are not in the blue-book. I think that you will find that I said they were not there.

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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

The minister will know what we were contending for; we wanted to know the total exports of these countries to see whether or not they could possibly compete with the farmers in this country. The minister held up the blue-book, and said that all these figures in the report that my hon. friend from Grenville was putting on ' Hansard ' were in the blue-book, we said they were not, and that is the reason why we put them on record.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

As I remember I stated that certain articles which he was giving, having reference to what the hon. gentleman is alluding to, now, were not there, but that all that portion of the information which it was necessary for Canada to have with reference to imports and exports was contained in the blue-book.

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CON

John Albert Sexsmith

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SEXSMITH.

The minister was very unfair in selecting the year he did. If you look over the imports of butter from the United States for the last ten years you will find that in 1910 there was only one-tenth of the amount imported from that country that was imported in the year 1909. Now, the minister selects that one year, and he hands it out to the farmers of this country so as to make the quantity of but-

ter the United States have been selling in Canada look small. In 1910 we imported a little over $18,000 worth of butter from the United States, but in 1909 we imported $156,143 worth. T.he Minister of Customs selected that lean year, and the reason such a small quantity was imported to Canada that year was that butter had been cornered in the United States, and the price had been run up. They held it in cold storage, and did not export it to Canada or anywhere else. But at the present time butter is cheaper in the United States than it is in Canada. Last year the butter was cornered and put in cold storage, and the people in the United States bought oleomargarine in its place. I was in New York state ten days ago, and a big butter dealer told me that last year he sold fifty 'tubs of butter in a week, but this year he was selling twelve tubs of butter and a hundred tubs of oleomargarine. The corner in butter raised the price so that the public had to buy oleomargarine, and when they were forced to put the butter on the market the bottom had fallen out of the demand for it. A friend of mine in Watertown, a Canadian, who conducts a big grocery business, told me that he had farmers' butter, creamery butter, and oleomargarine and that while eighteen months ago he was selling a much larger percentage of butter than of oleomargarine his invoices showed that at the present time he was selling 18 pounds of oleomargarine to one of butter. If the Minister of Customs had quoted the imports of butter in 1909 instead of 1910 he would have found a great difference. It was unfair for the Minister of Customs to hand out that statement to the farmers of the country because it was calculated to deceive them.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

I do not doubt what the hon. gentleman says about the imports in the previous year, and I dare say that year after year the importation of butter will vary. The reason I took the particular year I did was that I just happened to have the figures for it in my desk. I certainly did not select it intentionally. However, take any year you like and you will find there is not sufficient imported to affect this market.

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CON

George Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR (Leeds).

If the duty is removed it would.

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Motion agreed to, and House went into Committee of Ways and Means.


WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.

CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. C. A. MAGRATH (Medicine Hat).

Mr. Chairman, this reciprocity pact recently entered into by two representatives of the Canadian government with representatives of the government of the United States, and now before us for .consideration, is in my judgment the most important question that has ever come before this or any other parliament of Canada. Last year I was disposed to regard the navy question as such, but the question now before us I think predominates in importance. True, the navy question was settled, but not in the best interests of our race. If Canada is going to be one-twentieth as great as some gentlemen are pleased to think, then we are on the liigh road to meet great and grave issues. Last year we plunged into the navy question, and now we find ourselves imbedded in this national issue at the instance of but two gentlemen in this whole Dominion, and, the result of this arrangement if carried into effect will be that the home market, the best market, the market which takes about eighty per cent of our farm products will be thrown open to practically the whole agricultural world. These two representatives of our government entered into this bargain, a bargain which for example gives the Argentine Republic, exporting as much wheat as practically the United States and Canada combined, free entry into the market of Canada. It would interest me very much to know what it costs to produce a bushel of wheat in the Argentine Republic. We have heard it said that labour there is worth about 64 cents per day, and we know it is worth probably three times that in this country. The position we find ourselves in is that, so far as any information which the government is able to submit to us, we are practically in the dark; we are unable to say what the nature of the competition we are throwing our own farmers against in their own home market. We have heard a great deal recently of statistics, and I was much interested some time ago to hear the hon. member for North Wellington state that if there is any one thing which the Canadian government can learn from the United States government it is their system of collecting statistics. Before the President of the United States entered into this pact, he went about it in an intelligent way. He sent representatives of his government throughout the United States and throughout Canada I am told, and obtained data as to the conditions existing in both countries from the view point of the United States, and with that data before him he entered into these negotiations. And, in placing this pact before the representatives of the people' of the United States the President submitted to the Congress three or four messages containing from 100 to 150 pages of printed matter, giving detailed information as to the conditions prevailing in both countries and of course from the point of view of the United States. That was an intelli-

where she is to-day? I want to see great industrial centres grow up in our west. I would like to have those engaged .in manufacturing to-day in this country expand their energies and establish industries throughout our west and not confine their efforts to any one portion of this country. Industry in the west means labour, labour means population and population means a home market-the very best market we can have. If we had in our west centres such as Minneapolis, Omaha, Chicago and St. Pail, the prices of our farm products there would be much more stable than they can possibly be under existing conditions.

Turning again to the farmers delegation I find on page 38 of their report that they ask in connection with reciprocity:

That in the event of a favourable arrangement being reached, it be carried into effect through the independent action of the respective governments rather than hy the hard and fast requirements of a treaty.

It would be interesting to know what was in the mind of the gentlemen who penned that paragraph. If reciprocity of the character we now have before us is in the best interests of the people, why should it not be hard and fast? But if 'there be any question as to its not being in the best interests of all the people we should be prepared to go slowly. What right have we to experiment in trade matters when in this intelligent age, we can by investigation conducted in a scientific manner work out results with fair accuracy. No such method was followed by this government. Reference has already been made to _ the fact that we have no statistics to guide us. Our government did not follow the example set by President Taft who, when he saw he was going to be engaged in negotiations -for reciprocity with this country, got busy and had information collected from both countries. If our government had done the same, this pact would not be before us in its present condition. We would not have had a vast number of our fruit farmers here, shortly after the pact was announced, protesting against the manner in which the fruit and vegetable farming industry were being destroyed to a certain extent in this country. My hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) is not here, but I do not think he will challenge the statement I am about to make. He was in the constituency of Medicine Hat, a few days ago. He, there addressed an important gathering of citizens in my home city, Lethbridge. He told them, according to the press reports, that there was substantially nothing in the claim of the fruit farmers that their industry was in any way being injured. But practically at the same time as the hon gentleman was making that address in Lethbridge, we had the hon. member for Mr. MAGRATH

Wentworth (Mr. Sealey) presenting an amendment to this committee against the pact that is now before us. My hon. friend from Wentworth is a strong supporter of the government and he would not have taken the action he did unless he believed it was absolutely necessary. What I want to point out is that not only he but every page boy in this House knew that that pact has to go through in its present form and that consequently if his amendment carried it would destroy the pact. What then was his object in doing what he did? He has fruit and vegetable farmers in his constituency but all our fruit and vegetable farmers are not hived in that constituency. He knew that that pact was going to injure that industry both in his own constituency and in a number of other constituencies throughout the country.

I believe, howqver, that the author of the paragraph referred to had something entirely different in his mind. I believe he suggested independent action so that Canada, the small country, would keep herself clear of any entanglements whereby her large and influential neighbour could not at a later date dominate here in trade matters. In my opinion, the present pact is the most dangerous one that this young country could engage in. It is not of a character that will permit Canada to be absolutely independent as suggested by the farmers' delegation. The pact has a flavour of divorce court proceedings, which, at least in this country, are not agreeable. We are told it may be broken at a moment's notice. While it is true we may change our tariff, it does not destroy the pact so long as the United States continue to keep faith in whole or in part. Can we not then see the position it may land us in? It has been truly said that Canada is placing a noose around her neck by entering this pact, and the string to tighten that noose will not be in our hands. It will be in the hands of our neighbours. On the other hand, a firm treaty for a definite period of time, would, at the end of that period, leave us in exactly the same position as when we entered that pact, namely in absolute control of our own tariff to do our own business for our own people in our own way. Let me suggest a difficulty that we might find ourselves in under this pact. While the proposals resulting in this arrangement emanated from the President of the United States, still the correspondence embodying the terms of the pact was negotiated by the two representatives of our government. In that correspondence there was a direct invitation to the United States to drop her tariff wall, to let, for instance, our wheat free into that country. Now we know that cannot be accomplished without transporation lines; we know that Canadian railways are not going to build down to the

boundary and hand over our product to their rivals, the American railways. Then Sir, it means this, if it means anything, that it is a direct invitation to the American railways to come into our country for the product of our farmers. I do not object to that so long as they come in as other foreign capital is coming in at this moment, not under any pact or arrangement between our government, and the government of the country from which that capital comes. I do not wish to put a board fence around this country, but I want to see us keep absolute control of our own affairs. If our western farmers expect to get our grain into the American markets, it appears to me that the American railways must accept the invitation of our country, and build those roads into our country. Nothing can be accomplished by a few trunk lines, because the farmers cannot afford to haul grain more than six or eight miles of railways. Therefore, if it means anything, it means that our western country must be grid-ironed by American railways. I do not, I repeat, object to that; in fact I will be glad to see them come into the country. Then suppose that we break this pact 24 hours after we enter into it, and our neighbours should continue to keep it. Suppose the American railways should grid-iron our country. Suppose that 10 or 15 years hence our government should do something along our boundary that they thought to be in the interests 'of our people, is it not possible that these American railways would say they had created vested interests in this country? Is it not possible they would say: You invited us to come into your

country, we are taking your wheat out, we are taking your timber out, we are taking your fish out, and we have developed a north-bound traffic as well, for we cannot operate with profit without traffic both ways. They would add we developed that north-bound traffic under conditions that prevailed during the time our government had been keeping faith with yours. Then might we not find them saying to us: You have broken faith, you are injuring vested interests. We would say : Nay, they would say: Yea, and probably that yea would be repeated at Washington with the statement that our proposed Act was that of an unfriendly people, which, in diplomatic language, is not agreeable.

While on the subject of railways let me digress to say that I consider railways to be the crying need of our western country. I have constituents who live 50 miles from a railway. I know that they want railways a great deal more than they want any reciprocity of the character before us, and I am prepared to go back to them on that issue. I say that the government has failed to realize the situation in that country. Corporations are building railways

through that country, and spending an immense amount of money, but they are going where they please, and how they please; they are jockeying each other for advantage in certain territory. They should, in my opinion, be pulled apart and the government should insist on their spreading their energies over the entire country. If our government had been paying some attention to that feature, the farmers of the west would appreciate that to a much greater extent than this pact now under consideration.

Possibly some one may say that I am playing with shadows when I suggest the foregoing possible entanglement with our neighbours. Can we not learn something from the past? We had a pact in existence in 1854 which was abrogated in 1865, and one of the reasons given by our neighbours for abrogating it was that we had the hardihood to change our tariff in respect to some articles not covered by the treaty. They took the position that because they had entered into a treaty with us, because certain tariff conditions existed at that time, we were not at liberty to change our position in that regard. It seems to me that was travelling a long way to find a reason for abrogating that treaty. I can refer to a case in the past few years. In June, 1902, Congress passed an Act inviting Canada, through Great Britain, to take part in an investigation of international waters. When the Joint International Waterways Commission was completed under that Act by the appointing of three Canadians and three Americans, one of the first questions referred to that commission by our government was a dispute on the St. John river as between interests in Maine and New Brunswick. The dispute had reached an acute stage. What happened? The Canadian section referred it to the American section which in turn consulted its government at Washington, and they were instructed that they were to have nothing to do with the St. John river dispute. The instructions which the American section received from the government at Washington were in the following words:

The broader interpretation given to the Act by Canadian authorities should be rejected if for no other reason than on account of the smallness of the appropriation for the support of the American section.

In other words our interpretation of ordinary plain English, was to be governed by the amount of money our neighbours saw fit to vote for the use of their section. It appears to me that is an extraordinary position to take. Our government persisted, the matter was placed before the British Ambassador at Washington, who was instructed to take it up with the govern-

ment of that country, but without success, because his office telegraphed to Ottawa the following:

This government regret they cannot agree with your commission in dealing with the St. John river.

That answer was certainly to the point, it was direct, and what happened? Simply this, that our government had to hack down. I am not criticising them for that, because there was no other course open to them. That was done by the right horn, gentleman on the 5th of June, 1905, when he addressed the Canadian section in the following language:

With reference to the opposition raised by the American commission to consider other waters than the waters of the lakes and rivers whose natural outlet is by the River St. Lawrence to the Atlantic ocean, it would be no use to persist in our contention, and the government, therefore, are of the opinion that the commission had better even proceed in this limited way.

Well, it appears to me, that the foregoing is a sufficient evidence that our neighbours will dominate us when it suits their purpose. If we believe one tithe of what we say about the great virgin wealth of this country, if we have confidence in ourselves, then we must know that we have a country loaded with raw material, with water routes equal to the best in the world, with an excellent strategical position in the world of commerce. We will, provided we keep ourselves clear of trade entanglements, be the serious rival of even the most successful and the most prosperous countries of the present time. A more fruitful source for trouble between Canada and her immense neighbour could not be found, than in trade arrangements, especially when that trade is to be the source of the only rivalry that can possibly exist between us.

Now, I would like to consider briefly the economic side of this question. The farmers asked for, amongst other things, reciprocity in farm products as well as in agricultural implements. They are only getting reciprocity, of a character, in agricultural products. We are giving our home market to our neighbours, as well as, practically, to the entire agricultural world. The United States is not attempting to do anything of the kind, and the reduction in agricultural implements is of little or no account. Why does the United States want our farm products? Not to give us better prices than we have been getting. They want our farm products to_ assist in lowering the prices of such products to the consumers in the United States. *Canada exports about 60,000,000 bushels of wheat, while our neighours last year, I think, exported about 151,000,000 bushels.'

Mr. MAGRATH

Supposing for the purpose of argument that Canada exported her 60,000,000 bushels to the United States, then our neighbours would have their own 151,000.000 bushels, plus our 60,000,000, or 211,000,000 bushels which they would have for export to Liverpool. The heavier the stock the United States carries for export purposes, the! lower it will force the price of the product in their home market. So there must be ia sagging in prices in the United States, governed by the amount of wheat they import from us. But every bushel they import from us displaces a bushel in that country, which has to be shipped out of New York, because they produce much more than they consume. Therefore, their railways and their flour mills will get the benefit of what they import from us, and it will do the double duty of helping to steady or lower prices in their market, as well as to create labour for their railways and their flour mills. Here is what President Taft had to say at Springfield, Illinois, on February 11 last:

To let the wheat of the northwest come down to Minneapolis and Chicago will steady the pnioe of wheat. But that it will in the end substantially reduce the .price of wheat fixed for the world in Liverpool, no one famci-lar with conditions will assert.

It will give to the United States much greater control of the wheat market than it has ever had before. It will enable its milling plants to turn Canadian wheat into flour and send abroad the finished product and will stimulate the sale of manufactures and other things that we have to sell in Canada.

Now, Sir, I do not know that we are particularly interested in the United States obtaining control of the wheat market; I do not know that we are particularly interested in the creation of labour for Minneapolis in turning Canadian wheat into flour. We have some people in this country, irrespective of politics, who are strongly of the opinion that Canada is to be the greatest wheat producing country in the world. If there is anything in that statement it appears to me that we might be somewhat ambitious to control the wheat market in this country for our farmer, instead of allowing him to become the agent through which the wheat trust in the United States will take advantage of his product in order to obtain greater control over the wheat products of the farmers in his own country. Some people claim that the United States is rapidly reaching the point when she cannot produce enough to feed her own people. There is absolutely nothing in that. We know that the density of population in that country is about 25 to the square mile, and we know that there are countries in Europe with almost ten times that density of population, producing enough to feed

their own people. The United States produce enough to feed her own people and some 17,000,000 over and above her own population; in other words, she can feed her own people and a country twice as populous as Canada.

Now, what is the position in Canada? Not only do we allow American farm products in free, but under the favoured * nation treaties practically every other agricultural country in the world. Canada will become absolutely free trade in agricultural products. Free trade, we are told, means tlhe lowest possible prices, so that Canada, like Great Britain-the only two ctountries in the world-will have open doors for farm products, which means the cheapest farm products. Is it not the height of absurdity to ask the farmer of this country to sell his products in an open market and to buy in a protected market? It certainly does not look good to me.

However, in coming back to my original position, I wish to .say that I have the greatest regard for our neighbours to the south of us. Yet if we wish to maintain our own national integrity, if we wish to work cohesion' into the four scattered sections now known as Canada, we are positively sure of one safe way to do it-the dignified one, of doing our own business for our own people. Therefore, let us keep clear of business pacts, at least until we have some evidence that there is less selfishness in humanity than exists at the present time.

The pact, Mr. Chairman, that I wish to see consummated is that peace pact between our family and the United States. I wish to ^ pay my tribute to President Taft for his efforts in that direction, because I would like to see that pact so worded that it will allow every civilized people to come in, knowing full well that when we get fifty-one per cent of civilization into such a pact we will have a sure means of reducing the taxes of the people. President Taft addressed a meeting in New York on the 28th instant and made some very significant remarks. I find the following:

I have said that this is a critical time in the solution of the question of reciprocity. It is critical because unless it is now decided favourably to reciprocity, it is exceedingly probable that no such opportunity will ever again come to the United States. The forces which are at work in England and in Canada to separate her by a Chinese wall from the United States and to make her part of an imperial commercial band reaching from England around the world to England again, by a system of preferential tariffs, will derive an impetus from the rejection of this treaty, and if we would have reciprocity with all the advantages that I have described, and that I earnestly and sincerely believe will follow its adoption, we must take it now or give it up for ever.

I do not know that it would be possible to read a more significant statement than that. If President Taft objects to the idea of the Chinese wall between that country and this, he does not appear to have any objection to having a Chinese wall built with Canada and the United States within it, and a part of our own family outside of it because we find that upon the same occasion he stated that:

We tendered to the Canadian commissioners absolute free trade in all products of either country, manufactured or natural, but the Canadian commissioners did not feel justified in going so far.

We do not see any statement from him as to any suggestion of free trade with the other nations of the world. So, I say that it look's as though he would be quite willing to have a Chinese wall built around the two countries. What does his statement mean, that reciprocity must be taken by the United States now or never? It appears to me that it means that Canada has been proceeding along a certain path and, as Mr. Taft stated on another occasion, that Canada had reached the parting of the ways; it means that if we are allowed to continue along that path there (may be a vista opened up to us which would tend to continue to draw us along that path. It looks to me as if that was what President Taft had in his mind, and it is a statement that should be considered very carefully by the people of this country. If President Taft in his wisdom believes that if reciprocity is not accepted by the United States now they will never get it from us, he must also believe that there is something a great deal better for us if we continue as we have been going. I find that President Taft stated elsewhere on the same occasion, speaking of the government of this country:

The government is one entirely controlled by the people, and the bond uniting the Dominion and the mother country lis light .and almost imperceptible. There are no restrictions upon the trade or economic development of Canada which will interfere in the slightest with her carrying out her independent future.

That .is evidently what is uppermost in Mr. Taft's mind. That is not my ambition as a Canadian, and I do not believe that is the ambition of the majority of the people of Canada.

Now, there has been some talk about annexation. I believe a number of people in the United States who have been favouring this pact, had in their minds annexation. I consider it as a mark of intelligence on their part. We Canadians should have enough vanity to think that we would not lower the standard of citizenship of the United States if we joined the union, and

the addition of our vast virgin wealth would do much to replete the overdrawn stores of that country. However, no one in Canada is looking for annexation. Yet if our neighbours did think seriously of the matter, they could only do it through some trade arrangement. The orthodox way of catching a colt is by coaxing with a handful of oats. It might be interesting to quote Archibald Cary Cooledge from his work on ' The United States as a world power.' Mr. Coolidge was in the diplomatic service of the United States. He was with Secretary Taft to the Philippine Islands in 1905 and 1906, and is now a professor at Harvard University, and when a gentleman attains that position in such a seat of learning, he is capable of doing his own thinking. In referring to the Canadian situation and the abrogation of the Trade Treaty of 1854, he says:

*In consequence, when the pernod for which the trade treaty was made came to an end in 1865, the agreement was not renewed. Justifiable as such action may have been from a commercial point of view, it was none the less short-sighted. If the Americans believed that Canada would one day ooime into the union, they should have prepared the way for the event

And how?

-by cultivating dose trade relations, even if the weaker state did in the meantime get the greater profit from them. Wise foresight would have dictated the same sort of policy in the United States as was shown by Prussia in her formation of the German Zollveredn-a. willingness to sacrifice small temporary advantages in favour of large aims for the future. But a popular government is seldom guided by such long views if they mean immediate loss.

It appears to me that President Taft has gotten away from the idea of popular government. Speaking of the resources of the country, Mr. Cooledge says:

#

And grain is not her sole reliance; her forests will be called on more and more to supply the lumber which thei'r depleted American rivals will he unable to furnish; her fisheries, both in the east and in the west, are of untold value; she has copper north of Lake Superior, coal in Nova Scotia and elsewhere, mineral wealth of all kinds in her Rocky mountains only waiting to be exploited, and near the Alaska frontier, the gold of the Klondike. These resources, which are just beginning to he developed, hold forth a brilliant promise tor the future.

He then undertakes to discuss the question of Canada remaining in the British empire. He says:

* * # *

There is no doubt that the idea of being an equal member in ithe community of the largest and most populous empire in the world is one to appeal to the imagination, a magni-Mr. MAGRATH

ficient dream, capable of rousing the utmost enthusiasm in those who glory in the greatness of the English name. lit is also one which has for the Canadian farmer attractions of a mpre prosaic kind. Such an em pire would pretty certainly be bound together by preferential duties, if not actual free trade between the members and a protective tariff against outsiders, and this will give Canadian wheat a decided advantage on the London market over rival grain from Russia or The Argentine.

. Evidently, Sir, that was exactly the mind of President Taft when in his statement in New York the other day he told his people they must take reciprocity now or leave it alone for ever. I continue to quote from Mr. Coo-ledge:

There is no valid reason for regarding this dream as chimerical simply because the principles which it embodies received a check at the last English election. In one form or another the federation of Greater Britain is quite possible, and, though the issue will not be settled in a day, it bids fair to become within a generation one of the most momentous in politics. From the point of view of the United States there would be no cause to welcome this federation. If it should be based upon internal reciprocity with protection against other nations, American exports, both raw materials and manufactured goods would suffer. So vast are the markets included in the domain of Greater Britain, so imposing is its situation almost everywhere, that if this greatest of empires were to' follow a policy of exclusion towards others, it might provoke a league to break its power. _ In such a league, too, the United States might conceivably have a place; for from the closeness of its relatione with British America, it might be forced either to become part of this Greater Britain or as a matter of self-preservation to oppose it. This imay he fanciful speculation about the distant future, but it is a fact of the .present that the drawing together of Great Britain and Canada is in no sense to the benefit of the United States.

Now, Sir, while I am keenly anxious to see the British family closely cemented together, still I do not see that it should be objectionable to other nations. Canada would be foolish indeed to enter into any pact with another country that might interfere with the cementing process in her own family toeing proceeded with as time advances. I have faith in our own people. I wish to see some organic union among the British people, not for the purpose of dominating other people, but because I believe it would be best for humanity and best for us. And, when we accomplish that I think there is something even greater for us to look to: the welding together in some form with other peoples, because I have the idea that the Millennium is coming and it will come in that way. So far as this pact is concerned I am opposed to it. I was first disposed to favour it, but the more 1 revolved it in my mind the less I liked it. I

have no interest in any railway in this country; I have not been approached by any interest as to how I should vote in this matter; I have absolutely done my own thinking in connection with it. If it is good for the western country, if it is good for Alberta, it is good for me financially. But, Sir, I question if it is good. In any case, Sir, I do not believe in any suggestion that we are going to place a certain section of our people in the position that they will have to sell in an open market and buy in a protected market.

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CON

Alexander Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ALEXANDER HAGGART (Winnipeg).

Mr. Chairman, we are all more or less parochial. Some of us may think we are more cosmopolitan than others. Now, just consider the different elements and communities of which this,, Dominion, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific' is made up. Perhaps the only industry which is common to all the provinces is farming, in its various branches of grain growing, meat producing, dairying, gardening, and so on; but the varying conditions are such that those exclusively engaged in any one of the branches may 'have little in common with the others. In fact, what would beneficially affect the tillers of the soil in one particular district or in one particular province might have the reverse effect in another. The first impulse of the individual is to consider how a particular measure will perhaps affect his own calling, the business in which his own money is invested, or the locality in which he lives. We are consciously or unconsciously affected by the trade conditions surrounding us, and by the opinions ;of those whom we respect who are living in the same neighbourhood as ourselves. I will not attempt to be less provincial cr parochial than others; but I would be sat-isfied_ if I gave a fair and an honest expression of opinion of the best and of the majority of the people amongst whom ] live or whom I represent; because I believe that by so doing I would be carrying out the trust that is imposed upon me bv those people. I am only one of the community, and I would be satisfied if I gave, as I believe I shall give, the opinion of the people of Winnipeg upon this great and important question. It is not difficult to ascertain what is the opinion of the people of Winnipeg. When these venerable politicians went to Washington, not at the command or instance of the people of the country, but at their own instance or of the instance of the government, the people of Winnipeg watched them closely. They waited for even any rumour that might come from behind the tyled doors where they were in counsel with the Americans, and they were not long in coming to a conclusion and expressing their opinion

265J

on the results of those negotiations which were presented to us in the resolution now before this House. As to what was the conclusion of the people of Winnipeg, we have sufficient evidence, and good evidence. We have a legislature there that had come fresh from the people, and after the matter was debated and considered in that legislature, which represented I think fairly the people of Manitoba, they unhesitatingly condemned this compact or proposal which was brought here from Washington by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Customs. We have another important body of men in that city, the board of 'trade, consisting of some hundreds of the best business men in that city, men who have grown up with the city, and have become prosperous with its prosperity. Then we have the grain -exchange, consisting of a large body of commercial men, able men, clever men. They considered it, and the result of their consideration was that they also condemned this arrangement. I believe that to-day a majority, and a large majority, of the people of Winnipeg are satisfied with the conditions which exist there, the -splendid conditions under which the city and they themselves have become prosperous, and they would have to be certain that what was proposed would be an improvement upon the present condition of affairs. Another gentleman whose opinion I think ought to carry some weight with hon. gentlemen opposite is Mr. D. C. Cameron. He is one of the first citizens of Winnipeg he is a wealthy man; he is engaged in a large business; he is first in every progressive and philanthropic enterprise in that city. There is no man in Winnipeg who is more respected than he is, and he is such a man that the supporters of hon. gentlemen opposite in the city of Winnipeg were very glad to have him as their candidate at the last election, and it is just possible, by reason of his standing and by reason of the manner in which he was treated and considered by the city of Winnipeg, that he might have represented that city to-day in this House, were it not for the fact that the poor man was l^irdened and handicapped by the sins of ' the gentlemen on the opposite side of the House. I will give another certificate of character to that gentleman. He received at that election nearly 7,000 votes of the people of Winnipeg, more votes than were given to any minister sitting on the opposite side of the House; more than were given to any gentleman sitting behind them. He is known as one of the most progressive gentlemen in the city of Winnipeg, and I will guarantee that he knows more of sane and proper business methods than any brace of gentlemen sitting on the

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CON

Alexander Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART (Winnipeg).

The city has been spending on that undertaking half a million dollars every year during the past five or six years, and inside of a year we are promised that

30,000 horse-power will be brought into the city and eventually 60,000 horse-power at the lowest cost, and that will be furnished manufacturers at actual cost for the purpose of encouraging these industries. _ It is said by the eminent board of engineers that the power can be sold for $18 per horse-power, and that the power to customers can be brought down to $12.50. But before we could take any steps towards building that dam, which is one of the most magnificent municipal works on this continent, we had to build 24 miles of railway for the purpose of getting in the plant and material. We are told that we need not be discouraged, that our manufactures are not to be interfered with by this proposed agreement. The hon., member for South Grey (Mr. Miller), I understand, told his constituents the other day that they might rest assured that manufactures in the town of Hanover had nothing to fear. But we know well that when our farmers have got one concession, they are not going to rest contented. Are the farmers to whom the alleged concession is now to be made to remain quiet? They tell us plainly, no; and this is but the commencement of an agitation greater than that which we witnessed last year. The present concession they will accept only as an instalment. The edge of the wedge is only being entered, and they will not be contented to sell their goods in an unprotected market and be compelled to buy everything they require in a protected market. By this pact, therefore, the government are opening the door for absolute free trade. We have said time and again on this side of the House that the people were never consulted, but my hon. friend the Minister Customs, the other night, in a solemn voice that sounded like the solemn tones of some cathedral bell, told us that the people would be consulted perhaps sooner than we desired. Well, we on this side want that election now. We want the people to be consulted at once. The government cannot bring on the election too soon to suit hon. members in the opposition.

You pass this reciprocity resolution, you pass an Act bringing it into force, it is an accomplished fact; then, after the people have made their adjustments, given up the old markets and tried to form new alliances, you come back to them again now that this is done, you invite them to come back to the old situation. They have made one change, they have suffered loss, there has been dislocation of business and ruin in some cases. Now the agreement is in force and you wish to go back again after you have severed connections with the old customers and have made new alliances with other people. We have been told by the Finance Minister that reciprocity with the United States has, from time immemorial, been the policy of all parties. This has been repeated by some newspapers. There is no question that after the sudden abrogation of that treaty in 1864, the people of Canada would have liked to have had a renewal of that treaty. They had had extensive trade relations with the Americans for the preceding 12 years and were suddenly cut-off from that market. They had not formed new alliances and new trade routes. We had not acquired new markets at that time, we had no communication with the Atlantic in the winter, we were dependent entirely upon' the Americans, and our system of transportation was very primitive. But because reciprocity was a good thing at that time, and during the continuation of that treaty and because it was hard to suffer the rebuffs we then suffered when reciprocity was taken away from us without any particular reason being given except that it was not in the interest of the United States, it does follow that it is best now, we set ourselves to acquire new markets for our products and developed our own interprovincial trade, we set to work to build our railways and, perhaps, that is partly the reason why to-day we have the magnificent system of railways that we have, uniting our provinces and strengthening the bonds of confederation. We were told another story by the Prime Minister. He was in error in telling it. He said that in Manitoba in the early eighties, we had an incipient rebellion, and that the cause of that rebellion was that the people of the Northwest wanted to trade with the south, that they wanted to trade north and south. I cannot say that he did not read history aright, he was one of the makers of history at that time, and if he would brush up his recollection he would find that if we had had ten railroads running north and south we could not have made use of them in the ahsence of trade relations with the south. The same high tariffs were there, the gates were shut. The reason of the little trouble there was that the people of Manitoba wanted competition. They thought the Canadian Pacific railway was charging rates that agriculture would not bear. The merchants in Winnipeg thought- they were charging rates on imports that the trade would not bear and they simply wanted competition. The local government finally chartered the Red River Valiev railway and the mono-noly clause in the Canadian Pacific rail-wav charter was deleted. We had then in onwer one .Tee Martin, subsequently a member of this House, and one Thomas

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S395 COMMONS


Greenway, who started to build the railway and then transferred it to the Northern Pacific railway, and shouted: We have got competition. They had handed it over to the Northern Pacific, and the competition when they weTe compelled to disclose it, consisted simply of a letter from the president of the Northern Pacific railway that his road would charge no more to bring wheat to Duluth than the Canadian Pacific railway charged to bring it to Port Arthur. Fortunately for the province of _ Manitoba that government was in its dying days, and it died and was buried, thank God, and there has never been any resurrection since. Another able government came into power, and they took hold of the railway situation. They had to buy back that railway, built largely with Mani-tobar money, from the Northern Pacific, and they made a new deal with the Canadian Northern railway by which they controlled the rates, and as a result of which there is in Manitoba to-day more mileage of Canadian Northern railway than there is of Canadian Pacific railway. The Manitoba government have control of the rates, and again there farming now is a paying business. Manitoba benefited, and every province to the west of Manitoba incidentally benefited. The Canadian Northern railway began in Canada, ran through Canadian soil in Canadian territory and terminated in Canadian ports at Port Arthur and Fort William. So that now all our grain instead of going by way of Duluth, by American cities, paying tribute to American railroads, now goes over our own territory through our own ports, over our own railways to the east, through our own elevators, into ocean steamers-, to be carried to the markets of the world, or is carried to our own cities to be ground in our own mills to the profit of the whole people of Canada. The monopoly clause of the Canadian Pacific railway, although irksome, at the time, was not altogether an evil. At this distance of time we must acknowledge the foresight of that great statesman, who desired to make the channels of commerce between the eastern provinces, and the western territory wider and deeper before that great work would be subject to the competition by diversion of our trade to the United States. Members on this side of the House would welcome the execution of the government's threat of an election. We believe that the opinion of the people is against this pact, and it is only fair that they should have an opportunity of expressing an opinion on it before it becomes law. . I shall touch upon another question which has been referred to by the hon. member for Medicine Hat. With reference to the speech or address of President Mr. HAGGART (Winnipeg). Taft at -New York the other day, I am informed by one who was at that meeting that that address was in manuscript, that it was read closely by the president from that manuscript and that that manuscript was handed to the press. Evidently what he said was said with deliberation and not in the heat and excitement of a debate. I think that address ought to be read carefully by every Canadian, that it ought to be in every Canadian home so that^every elector in this country might read it for himself. First the president speaks of wheat, oats and barley. We have heard a great deal of that from northwest Liberal members; they say that we are going to get rich on wheat, barley and oats. Take the province of Manitoba and the states of Dakota and Minnesota, follow that 49th parallel as far west as you like, make an excursion 40 miles to the north amongst our own people, and make another excursion 20 miles or 40 miles to the south, and you will find that, -man for man, our farmers are better than the Americans, they are better educated, they are more intelligent, they are more industrious than the men on the other side of the line. Take farm for farm, and you will find that on our side we have better kept farms, we have better field conditions than they have; we have better and more comfortable buildings and farm houses than they have, and our farmers are getting wealthy and making more rapid progress than the Americans. These, Sir, are not the people with whom we should make a trade alliance. Now, with reference to wheat, barley, and oats, we are told that we should vote for this pact because we will get higher prices for our farm products, and at the same time the consumer will get his bread at cheaper prices. Now, let us see what President Taft says: With respect to wheat and barley and oats, conditions differ in different parts of Canada and in different parts of the United States. Classing them together as on the whole, the conditions are substantially the same. In prices of farm land the differences are no greater between Canada and the United States than between the different states in the United States. In the matter of farm wages, on the whole, they are about the same. It is said that this is an agreement that affects agricultural products more than manufactures. That is true, but if we are to have an interchange of products between the two countries of any substantial amount the chief part of it must necessarily be in agricultural products. As it is, we export to Canada more agricultural products than we receive from her and so it will be afterwards. The effect is not going, in my judgment, to lower the specific prices of agricultural products in our country. It is going to steady them and it is going to produce an interchange of products at a profit which will be beneficial. How is it going to be beneficial when there is to be no increase in prices? The fact is that we have better prices on our side of the line. About two weeks ago, - when I was in Winnipeg, I took up the St. Paul ' Pioneer Press,' which prides itself on the accuracy of its market reports, and I took up the Winnipeg ' Free Press/ which I presume is more accurate in its market reports than it is in its politics, and I compared the prices of the markets in St. Paul and Winnipeg on the same day, and with the exception of wheat, I found that farm products were bringing a higher price in Winnipeg than they were in St. Paul. In St. Paul wheat was two cents higher than it was in Winnipeg. Now, I wish to call attention to an extract in this remarkable speech of President Taft, on the 28th of April. He comes down from his throne, and steps upon the platform, where he talks to the newspaper men, and tells them what kind of a reciprocity gospel he wants them to grind out. There are thousands of them there from all over the United States. Now we have heard people talking annexation, but the spirit that animates the President's remarks is something more than that, it is the spirit of conquest. Now, listen to what he says: Another and very conclusive reason for closing the compact is the opportunity which it gives us to increase the supply of our natural resources, which, with the wastefulness of children, we have wantonly exhausted. He is looking with a jealous eye upon the riches God has given us in this Canada of ours. He continues : The timber resources of Canada which will open themselves to us inevitably under the operation of this agreement are notv apparently inexhaustible. I say apparently inexhaustible, for if the same procedure were to be adopted in respect to them that we have followed in respect to our own forests, I presume that they too might he exhausted, but, fortunately for Canada and for ns, we and they have learned much more than we realized two decades ago with respect to the necessity for proper methods of forestry and of lumber cutting. And hence we may be safe in saying that under proper modern methods the timber resources open to us in Canada may be made inexhaustible, and we may derive ample supplies of timber from Canadian sources to the profit of Canada and four our own benefit. There are other natural resources which I need not stop to enumerate which will become available to us as onr own if we adopt and maintain commercial union with Canada; and this is one of the chief reasons that ought to commend the Canadian agreement to the farseeing statesmanship of leaders of American public opinion. But there are other-even broader- grounds than this that should lead to the adoption of this agreement. Canada's superficial area is greater than that of the United States between the oceans. Of course, it has a good deal of waste land in the far north, hut it has enormous tracts of unoccupied land or land settled so sparsely as to he substantially unoccupied, which in the next two or three decades will rapidly acquire a substantial and valuable population. The government is one entirely controlled by the people and the bond uniting the Dominion and the mother wintry is light and almost imperceptible. There are no restrictions upon the trade or economic development of Canada which will interfere in the slightest with her carving out her independent future. The attitude of the people is that of affection toward the mother country, and of a sentimental loyalty toward her royal head. But for practical purposes the control exercised from England by executive or parliament is imponderable. Then comes that significant peroration in which the president refers to this as a critical time in the solution of the question of reciprocity. He says: I have said that this is a critical bime in the solution of the question of reciprocity. It is critical because, unless it is now decided favourably to reciprocity, it is exceedingly probable that no such opportunity will ever again come to the United States. Might he not have said: We will never have another opportunity to appeal to a Prime Minister of Canada who is more willing to force this reciprocity pact through parliament than he is to go to the Imperial Conference; we may never have a Finance Minister in the government of Canada again who spent the days of his early manhood in trying to dismember this confederation; and we may never have another Minister of Customs in the government of Canada who will be so easy a mark as long as we protect his cookies and his candies. The forces which are at work in England and in Canada to separate her by a Chinese wall



Who 'built that Chinese wall, and how long has it been there?



to separate her by a Chinese wall from the United States and bo make her part of an Imperial commercial hand reaching from England around the world to England agarn. The hope, the dream, the vision of better men than those who occupy at present the treasury benches of this country, I hope will be realized, and that the efforts of the present government of Canada to break that commercial bond with England will fail. I am opposed to this reciprocity agreement, and I believe the majority of the people of Canada are opposed to it, and I hope it will not be for the historian in days to come to apply to the present ministry of Canada the words of Shakespeare in Hamlet's soliloquy, and to say : 'The evil that men do lives after them, their good is often interred with their bones.'


CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS.

As the hour is getting late I beg to move the adjournment of the debate. .

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Go on.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Arthurs) prefers to adjourn we have no objection.

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Motion agreed to, and progress reported. Mr. FIELDING moved the adjournment of the House.


May 3, 1911