Yes Mr. Blaine, the
American statesman, said in one of his books:
It never pays to be a blue-ruin man in the United States. The people are not influenced by that sort of tactics. They have an abiding confidence in the future, and when dismal accounts are spread broadcast, they simply lose confidence in the authority thereof.
I think that throughout the Dominion of CanadaTthese words are beginning to apply fairly well to the hon. member for St. John city, because the hon. gentleman has said so many things in the past that the people have found to be untrue that they do not pay any attention to him now. For that reason, therefore, we do not look upon the matter as seriously as we would if conditions in that regard were different.
The hon. gentleman last evening tried to make a case against the Government by asserting that enough had not been done for the farmers of Canada. Why, he said the Government sent out a pamphlet telling the farmers to produce more, with the result that the farmers dragged the ground three times where, if they had not received the pamphlet, they would only have dragged it twice. Providence smiled on them and they got a great crop. You have neglected the question of transportation, he says. You ought to have built shipyards; you ought to have built a fleet of ships to carry this grain across the Atlantic. You ought, he says, to build elevators at St. John and Halifax-though I understand that there is an elevator at Halifax and that it is not half-full at the present time. I understand, *also that through the actions of this Administration in safeguarding the interests of the farmers of Western Canada, greater progress has been made in the movement of
the crop to its destination than was made in any previous year.
Look at the freight rates, said my hon. friend; they are too high. Well, what makes the freight rates high? Is it the Government? The Government has been doing everything in their power to adjust the freight rates, but it should be remembered that conditions exist to-day upon the high seas over which no government has control. When the war broke out and the enemy's ships made their appearance upon the Seven Seas, it became risky for the great transports ,to carry their cargoes through the arteries of trade to the distant markets of the world, and' no company in the world would insure that cargo at the rate at which they would insure it in times of peace. Is the Government responsible for that? If my hon. friend had not made so vigorous an opposition we might to-day have three dreadnoughts upon the great trade routes of the world, and probably the freight rates would not now be so high.