labour in those sections was deemed to be cheaper than elsewhere: but with the changes that have taken place under our modern conditions, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with the rapidity of communication, railways, telegraphs, telephones and all the other modern improvements that we have, with the organizations of workingmen in the different sections of the country, there is no longer cheap labour in any part of the continent of America, at least amongst the white population; rates of labour are not materially different to-day in different parts of Canada,-the labour unions look after that point,-so that cheap labour is not a live asset. There is another condition by which an industry can be established. It is possible by the ingenuity of man, by the skill of some group of men, to establish an industry. I heard an illustration of that given some years ago by a distinguished Irishman when he was making a speech in London urging the people to cultivate home industries. "Look at Dundee;" he said, "you do not grow oranges in Dundee; you do not produce sugar in Dundee; you do not produce anything in Dundee that goes into the manufacture of marmalade. But there was a Scothman up there who produced a combination called marmalade, who gathered around him all the raw material necessary for the making of marmalade and who developed a great industry in Dundee. Although Dundee did not produce the fruit nor the sugar, the skill, the enterprise and the reputation of that man built up the industry". All these are conditions upon which industries may be built up. If we build up our industries, based upon the natural resources of our country, we have just cause for believing that with reasonable enterprise and without any high protection, those industries may flourish. That is the true policy for Canada; that is the policy that I would strongly advise to-day rather than the general statement that we must have industries regardless of the economic future.
I notice that the Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) made a very brief reference to the condition of the American jtariff, though I must do him the justice to say that he treated it with more gravity than some people do. There are people throughout Canada who flippantly say that they do not care what the American tariff is. There is an Irish proverb which says: "It is aisy to bear another man's toothache." Stock raisers in Western Canada and, for that matter, further East, do not
regard it as a small matter that they are likely to be shut out of the American market. That prospect is grave and serious to them. They may be comforted by the remark that the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) made in Montreal the other day, when he was giving good advice, as he thought, to the women of that city. He said in effect: "As regards the American tariff, there is this to be said: if they adopt that tariff, the consumers in the United States will have to pay the bill." Speaking broadly and generally, one may say that there is a good deal in that. It is not, however, worth while entering into a debate now as to the conditions under which the consumer pays or the shipper pays; there is something to be said on both sides. But I have not found my right hon. friend telling the consumers of Canada that they pay the duty. In general he cultivates the notion that the man who ships the goods into Canada is the man who pays the duty; but when he gets into Montreal, before the women of that city, the truth comes out of him that the consumer pays the duty. There is this to be said with regard to the American tariff. For many years our American friends did not treat us fairly in tariff matters; for one reason or another they built up high tariff barriers against us, and we felt that we had just ground for complaint that they were not treating us generously. There came a time when they saw the error of their ways, when their leading men frankly said that thiy ought to deal more generously with their great neighbour, Canada, and they made a proposal; they met us half way, and between us, we agreed to a certain thing. The present Government of Canada has opposed that; the people of Canada, through their constituted representatives, have turned that down. Therefore, we have no longer any right to complain of what the Americans do in tariff matters. They made an approach to us; we rejected it, and no matter what tariff they may impose now, we have no right to complain. They did long ago treat us unfairly, but in this case we are in the wrong. I am going to make this suggestion to the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen). If we are going to adhere to this view, to have a quarrel with the United States again and to build up barbed wire entanglements on both sides, I want him to say to the Minister of Trade and Commerce: "Do not go down to New York again and make a whining appeal to them not to pass the Fordney Bill. That is not a dignified position for Canada to take."
In view of the large trade that we have with the United States, in view of the fact that we are one of the best customers that the United States has, I still cherish the hope that, before this matter is all through, a ground will be found upon which we can come together, notwithstanding the differences that may have arisen in the past, and that instead of building up barbed wire entanglements on both sides, some such arrangement, call it by what name you will, as that which characterised the reciprocity agreement of 1911, may be entered into.
I have made some reference to what my right hon. friend the Prime Minister has said in the West. I want, before I conclude, to make a passing reference to something my right hon. friend said in the East. Speaking at Sherbrooke, a manufacturing town, after presenting his own views on public affairs generally, he used -these words: "We have therefore a clear-cut issue: Do we want free trade in this country, or do we not?" I am sorry to have to say that I regard that as a statement which does not do credit to my right hon. friend. In the strife of political parties there is always a temptation perhaps to build up your own case by misrepresenting what your opponent says and does. It is a small political game, which small politicians easily fall into, but we have a right to expect something better from the right hon. the Prime Minister of Canada. When my right hon. friend told the people that the issue now before the country is, shall we or shall we not have free trade? -my right hon. friend must have known that he was making a statement (that lacked the essential element of truth. There is no issue of free trade in Canada to-day. The Liberal party of Canada has not proposed free trade, did not propose free trade when it was in office, does not propose free trade to-day. The Farmers' party, though they go further than we do, have not proposed free trade. Who is it then that talks of free trade? ' Only my right hon. friend and his friends. They talk of free trade. Why? Simply to conjure up a bogey with which they may scare the manufacturers of the country. I again say that the Liberals have not proposed free trade; the Farmers do not propose free trade; only my right hon. friend and his friends talk of free trade, and they use it simply as a bogey to scare the manufacturers of the country. It has not even the merit of novelty. It is a very old yarn indeed. It is the old story of 1896
over again. I really think that my right hon. friend, whose ability we all know, might have done something better than to revive that old game of 1896. In 1896, on every hustings in this country, they told the people that if the Liberals came into power there would be free trade and the industries of the country would be ruined. Everything that can be said today on these lines was said in 1896. Fortunately, the people of Canada knew better than to trust these representations, just as the people of Canada will know better to-day than to trust representations of that character when made, unworthily made, by the right hon. the leader of the Government of to-day. The Liberals won in 1896 and they came into power. Did they destroy the industries of the country? Did the prediction of the great Conservative leader, and the"sorrowful wail" about the industries of this country, come true? The fifteen years of the Liberal Government, so far as their tariff policy was concerned, were fifteen years of progress, peace, and prosperity. It was the golden era of Canada's prosperity. And just as we said then to the people that they could trust the Liberal party, if they came into power, to be fair and just while following sound principles, so we say to the people of Canada and the manufacturers of Canada to-day: Do not be misled by the statement made by my right hon. friend about free trade, because it is merely, as I said, a repetition of the old game of 1896; and as it failed in 1896, so it will fail in 1921 or 1922 whenever the election arrives.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by Mr. King:
That all the words after the word "that" to the end of the question, be omitted, and the following inserted instead thereof:
The House regrets that, after repeated assurances by the Government of an intention to have a revision of the Customs tariff, and after a protracted inquiry extending from ocean to ocean by a committee of cabinet ministers, the Government have made no proposals for any reduction of the tariff;
That, while recognizing that existing financial requirements of the Dominion demand the maintenance of a Customs tariff, the House is unable to concur in the declarations by the Government that the tariff should be based on the principle of protection ; the tariff is a tax, and the aim of legislation should be to make taxation as light as circumstances will permit;
That the aim of the fiscal policy of Canada should be the encouragement of industries based on the natural resources of the country, the development of which may reasonably be expected to create healthy enterprises, giving promise of enduring success;
That such changes should be made in the Customs duties as may be expected to reduce the