trades, and one on the electrical trades. The committee on the iron and steel trades was composed of seven men. Now, I want the House to keep in mind the fact that these committees were not appointed for the purpose of finding a certain verdict; they were appointed under the leadership of a Prime Minister who was a free trader and who doubtless hoped that free trade would be permanent in Great Britain. They were appointed under the presidency of Mr. Runciman who was also a free trader and who certainly would not engineer his department to bring in a verdict hostile to his own course and principles. But here is the verdict; here is the report, and to it I invite the attention not so much of hon. gentlemen opposite-because in my heart I do not believe that very many of them would disagree with a single line or letter of what I am going to read-but particularly to the attention of hon. gentlemen diagonally opposite, men who, I am bound to assume, are sincere in their discussion of this question; men who have gone up and down the township lines in Western Canada and in Eastern Canada and denounced protection as bondage; men who have pointed to the example of Britain; men who have referred to all whose products receive a protective duty as specially privileged persons-often, indeed, calling them " scoundrels great and scoundrels small." Here is the report of the committee on the iron and steel trades of a committee of Britishers. I do not know what they were before, but I know they were not free traders after they got into the facts:
A comparative examination of the iron and steel industries of the U.S.A., Germany and Great Britain reveals the fact that the proportional capacity of production of these three countries stands in the ratio of 40 ; 20 ; 10-
United States four times Britain; Germany twice Britain.
-millions of tons; and a survey of the historical progress of these industries indicates clearly that as a competitor in the markets of the world the United Kingdom has steadily lost ground. In 1880 Great Britain produced 7.7 million tons of pig iron; the U.S.A. produced 3.8 million tons, and Germany 2.7 million tons. In 1900 Great Britain produced 8.9 million tons, the U.S.A. 13.8 million tons, and Germany 6.5 million tons. In 1913, the record year of British iron manufacture, Great Britain produced 10.3 million tons of pig iron, the U.S.A. 31 million tons and Germany 19 million tons.
Forty, twenty, and ten! The committee goes on to say:
In 1880, therefore, Great Britain produced 54 per cent of the total output of the three coun-
tries. In 1900 her production was only 28 per cent, and in 1913 it had fallen to 17 per cent.
To-day it is probably 15 per cent of the output of these three countries-flourishing indeed! and all in the absence of " special privilege " and " scoundrels great and scoundrels small." But, to pass on, what is the remedy?
There is a general consensus of opinion among British manufacturers-
The men who wanted free trade in 1846, the men who forced it on agricultural England.
-that the British interests have suffered severely through the action of foreign syndicates which have been free to exploit the British home markets wherever it suited them to do so, while they themselves were protected from reprisal by the protection extended to them by their respective governments, and that British producers were defenceless against the aggressive methods of their foreign competitors.
The general result of these various conditions is that the iron and steel industries of Great Britain have become thoroughly discredited as a field for the investment of capital.
That report is signed by seven men out of the nine, and included in the signatures in favour of the report is that of Mr. John Hodge, labour leader of England and later Minister of Labour in the Government of Mr. Lloyd George. But I find two signatures against it, not of the plain people about whom the hon. member for Kent (Mr. McCoig) ranted so much; I find an hon. baronet, Sir Hugh Bell, and what he and a Mr. Davison say was so characteristic of the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. M. Clark) that I had to look several times at the signature to be sure it was not "Michael Clark." This is what is said by Mr. Davison and concurred in by Sir Hugh Bell who dissented from .the report:
While in agreement with the recommendations, and with the greater part of the report, I wish to record my complete dissent from those passages which appear to suggest the necessity. of a change in the fiscal policy of the United Kingdom.
No reasons given. The report is all right, they say; it is true that the British iron and steel industries have gone down almost to decay; it is true, they proclaim, that other countries have taken from us the supremacy that we have enjoyed for years; it is true that we found ourselves faced with a war without such equipment in this great basic industry as would alone enable us to survive; all that is true; we hold up both hands as to the truth of every word of it; but we cannot stand for a change in the fiscal policy of England.