You won Chateauguayyou won it with whisky and money. I know something about Chateauguay. I was in Chateauguay during that election, and I believe that a tale will be told before the courts that will not redound to the honour or the dignity of the Conservative party. '
A more inapt, a more hopelessly helpless Government than that now in power I do not think this country has ever seen. In listening to the speeches delivered during the last few days, one would imagine that the Conservative party had absolutely nothing to their credit except the memory of the work of Sir John A. Macdonald upon the tariff and the building of the Canadian Pacific railway. My hon. friend (Mr. Edwards) dwelt, as did the hon. member for North Essex (Mr. Wilcox), at some length upon speeches delivered in this House in 1876. Do they believe that it would be an answer to the people of this country, who are clamouring against the high cost of living, to tell them what the men who in 1876 had seats in this House have said about protection, reciprocity, or free trade? The first one to speak about the policy of Sir John A. Macdonald was the hon. Minister of Finance. Here are his words:
Before taking these up in detail I desire to affirm the adherence of the Government to a fiscal policy of reasonable protection to Cana-
[Mr. Devlin 1
dian industries including of course the great basic industry of agriculture. That policy is the historic National Policy of Sir John Macdonald, inaugurated by him and continued by his successors in office down to the present time.
That was not the policy of Sir John A. Macdonald. The policy of the present Government is the policy of the manufacturers. To bear out my words, I want to allude to the speech delivered in Halifax by Mr. Robert S. Gourlay president of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, on the 7th of September, 1913. Speaking upon the tariff, he used the following language:
Our tariff has undergone very little change since we met a year ago. A few inequalities were corrected by legislation in the regular way, hut their application was limited to specific lines with no resulting disturbance to business in general. This has been in keeping with the policy of tariff stability for which our association has so consistently stood and to that extent the policy of the Government as thus far manifested has our sympathy and support.
Mr. Gourlay goes on to say:
The woollen schedule is not what it should be; otherwise an industry that should be indigenous in an agricultural country like Canada would not have languished as it has. Neither is the iron and steel schedule satisfactory. As at present constituted, it is to some extent encouraging the establishment and expansion of what might he called secondary industries.
When I say that the policy of the present Government is the policy of the manufacturers, I am quoting exactly the words contained in the address of the president of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association. What was the policy of Sir John A. Macdonald? It was not by any means the policy of high protection. I will refer to the life of Sir John A. Macdonald by George R. Parkin, an authority which will not be disputed by hon. gentlemen opposite. At page 219 of The Makers of Canada, here is what I find:
Macdonald did not place himself at the head of the movement without careful study of the Canadian 1 situation, nor until he was convinced that the time was ripe for change. Some of his supporters were impatient with his deliberation. ' Sir John was timid unto death of protection, had to be bullied into it; led into it; committed to it by others. But when he thought it grown, he used it as a bridge to reach the jiower he liked to wield,' wrote in after years one of his parliamentary followers.
At page 223, I find the fallowing, citation from Sir John Macdonald's own words:
The question of the day is that of the protection of our farmers from the unfair competition of foreign producers, and the protection of our manufacturers. I am in favour of reciprocal free trade if it can be obtained, but so
long as the policy of the United States closes the markets to our products, we should have a policy of our own as well, and consult only out own interests. That subject wisely and vigorously dealt with, you will see confidence restored, the present depression dispelled, and the country prosperous and contented.
Then the author says:
While Macdonald and his followers were advocating what was at least a specious remedy for the industrial depression, the Liberals had no alternative to offer save the recommendation to the electorate to practise thrift and to wait for the swing of the economic pendulum.
Listening to the words of the hon. Minister of Finance, when he delivered his Budget Speech, you will note, Mr. Speaker, that he said, 'We will wait; better times are coming.' Sir John A. Macdonald, when he inaugurated his national policy, did so to meet the circumstances of the time. Again, the same historian tells us:
It should be noted that to the extreme protectionists of his party, Sir John A. Macdonald steadily refused to commit himself. In June, 1878, he endeavoured to assuage the anxiety of the Maritime provinces by a telegram stating that he had ' never proposed an increase, but a readjustment of the tariff,1 and his motion in the House of Commons earlier in the same year was drawn with characteristic skill.
You, Sir, no doubt were in the House at the time Sir John A. Macdonald presented his motion, and you remember that it ran as follows:
That this House is of opinion that the welfare of Canada requires the adoption of a national policy which, by a judicious readjustment of the tariff, will benefit and foster the agricultural, the mining, the manufacturing and other interests of the Dominion; . . .
and, moving (as it ought to do) in the direction of reciprocity of tariff with our neighbours, as far as the varied interests of Canada may demand, will greatly tend to procure for this country, eventually, a reciprocity of trade.
If we are to believe the very letter of his motion, Sir John Macdonald never would have inaugurated a national policy if it were not a lever to obtain reciprocity with the United States of America. Let me quote a last passage from the same historian :
More than one breeze of popular opinion was caught by this resolution. It appealed at once to the deep-seated Canadian suspicion of the United States, and to the strong desire of the farmers for the American market. It was, in fact a blow at the enemy with the ostensible object of forcing him into a more friendly attitude. Equally important was its appeal to the rising national sentiment of the Dominion of which the National Policy was the crystallization.
It is apparent from the very wording of the motion presented by Sir John Macdonald to the House that reciprocity with 166J
the United States was what he sought; and what is sought to-day by the Conservative party of Canada is nothing more or less than reciprocity with the manufacturers of Canada, for their votes, for their influence, because we have on the one hand the wording of the motion of Sir John A. Macdonald, and on the other the words of the president of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association.
I do not think I am putting it too harshly when I say that the masters of the Administration of the day are not the people of this country, not the farmers and labouring: classes, but the manufacturers. And the-moment the manufacturers say: ' Raise the duties,' this Government cannot resist, and: so the duties are raised regardless of the: farmers and labouring classes.
Now, having dealt with that part of ancient history so particularly referred to in this debate by hon. gentlemen opposite, I may be allowed to take up one other remark made by the hon. member for Fron-tenac. He said that since the Underwood Tariff had come into force the_tebd?rcy of prices of commodities in the United States had been to increase. I find that he is not borne out by Bradstreet's. Bradstreet's for the 7th of March makes this reference to commodity prices:
Commodity prices have moved irregularly this week, storm interruptipn to wires and mails dulling trade early. Cereals have made a slight downward swing, wheat leading with a decline of IS to 2 cents, largely on good reports from the new crop and bearish reports from Europe, growing out of the large movement from the southeast offsetting reports of shortage in Argentina- Corn is off 3, to 1 cent on slow cash demand, and oats sympa-' thized to the extent of J cent.
And the issue of Bradstreet's for the 14th of March dealing with the index number says:
Bradstreet's price index number as of March 1 shows a slight decline from that of February 1, and marks the third consecutive decline from the level set on December 1, 1913.
In the issue for the 21st of March, we find:
Tariff changes, large crops and springlike weather alike find reflection in the notable declines shown in prices of sugar, butter and eggs this week. Lowered tariff duties, effective March 1, are a partial explanation of the sharp break to the lowest price ever known for refined sugar, but neither this cause nor the sharp competition between refiners, developing since the tariff reduction, would have sufficed to have broken raw sugar to 3.01 cents per pound and refined to 3.77 cents per pound, prices respectively 1 cent and 2-5 cent below a year ago, were it not for the fact that the world's sugar crop the past year was 700,000 tons, or 4 per cent larger than ever before.
And practically a similar condition of affairs exists in the following week, according to the same authority. So, I fail to see where the hon. gentleman has found the prices of commodities increasing since the establishment of the Underwood tariff.
The Minister of Finance, in his Budget speech, announced the surplus of $36.500,000. Up to that moment he had had us all in an aeroplane. He had brought us over to the Balkan states where, he assured us, there was unrest. Then he brought us to Mexico and told us that there was anarchy. In this unrest in the Balkan states and anarchy in Mexico he found the cause for his being obliged to pay a higher rate of interest on money borrowed for the Dominion of Canada; and in these same conditions he found one of the causes for the trade depression in this country. But when he directed his aeroplane back to the city of Ottawa he found that the officials of his department had been busy with their bookkeeping, and, while he was away borrowing money, they had made ready to show him that he had a surplus of $36,500,000. I think all that will be pretty hard for the farmers of this country to understand. In fact, I think it will make a cold shiver run down their backs when they find that they had $36,500,000 in Ottawa and yet our gay young Minister of Finance was jaunting abroad looking for money at high interest. When he goes out before the electors and tries to explain that to them, I think I know some farmers who will be too canny to fully appreciate where this surplus comes in.
Subtopic: THE BUDGET.