tion could not be addressed to the intelligence of the Canadian people than to imply that this is penalizing legislation on the part of the United States the result of our rejection of reciprocity. May I enquire first of all how is it that they are penalizing every other country as well? The tariff which is now about to go into effect in the United States applies everywhere else, the same as here. What was the offence of these other countries? Later, they offered us wheat and products of wheat free if we would do the same for
them. We accepted that proposal, and now shortly after our acceptance goes into effect the present Bill provides 35 or 40 cents duty on wheat, and 25 per cent duty on flour. Are we being punished because we accepted their offer in that respect? Why are not those duties left out of their impending tariff? They also offered us free potatoes if we reciprocated, and we accepted that offer. But the present tariff has 25 cents a bushel on potatoes. In both these instances the tariff is almost prohibitive; again I ask are we being punished for accepting the reciprocal offers as to these commodities. I pass on. We are selling the United States $542,000,000 worth of goods and buying from them $856,000,000 per year. Are we penalized because the advantage to them is not greater? Is that the case? Have we not treated them fairly? The hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) says this tariff is all our fault. Let me ask, in the name of Canada, what would be right treatment on our part to the United States? If conditions that enable them to sell us $856,000,000 worth a year, and buy from us only $542,000,000, are too onerous for them and too good for us, what does my hon. friend suggest? If their mind is to penalize us, if this tariff is the consequence of any resentment on their part, one would have thought that they would have acted sooner. But, on the contrary, they acted the other way. In 1913, under the Underwood Tariff, two years after reciprocity was defeated, the United States threw down the bars very largely on most of the goods included in the Reciprocity Agreement. That is the way they acted
then. Why? Because they wanted to favour us? Not at all; it was because they thought it was good policy for the United States. They thought they could handle the products of Canada and become, in respect of those goods, the great distributing agents and could make a profit
on the distribution. And so they did. The time has come now, however, when, by reason of conditions clearly stated in their own speeches in their House, they cannot do this any longer. They have a plethora of these goods and the farmers of the United States have demanded that as against these foreign products they be given due protection. That demand is being conceded. Hon. gentlemen suggest that if reciprocity had been accepted, and the plethora from this country had been still greater, then the United States would not take the step they seem about to take. Could anything be more utterly absurd? The conditions that brought about this change of policy in the United States would undoubtedly have been worse under reciprocity, if the reciprocity had any effect at all. And hon. gentlemen say that if the conditions had teen worse the remedy would have been postponed! Well, Mr. Speaker, if this is to be the policy of the United States, they have a right to choose their path. If they so direct their steps, then it will be for Canada, under the conditions that will be forced upon us, to determine what is our course, having regard to the interests of Canada and to the interests of Canada alone.
At Six o'clock the House took recess.
The House resumed at Eight o'clock.