of this chamber are a tragedy in this $12,000,000 structure, because I can assure you, Sir, that we sit here hour in and hour out and cannot follow speeches made by hon. members sitting only a very short distance away.
But let me continue. The Canadian Government Merchant Marine, which to-day is not particularly busy, would have more demands made upon it for freight service, and when that freight is delivered to the railways, no doubt the Canadian Government railways, at Halifax, St. John, Quebec, Montreal, Vancouver, or Prince Rupert, would be very glad to secure the added freight to increase their revenues. If, for instance, an importer of goods in Vancouver to-day makes a purchase in London, the goods are very apt to be sent on an American ship via New York. Then, naturally, they will be forwarded on American railways as far west as possible, so that the only part of the freight receipts on that bundle of goods that would go to a Canadian transportation company would be the freight from a junction on the Pacific coast as near as possible to the city of Vancouver.
An objection has been raised to this policy that it might be resented by the people of the United States of America. We heard this same statement made when the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) brought down the preferential tariff in 1897. But I submit that we need not fear this bugaboo, that the bonding privilege is just as important, if not more so, to the United States of America than it is to the Dominion of Canada.
Even if the policy I advocate were an interference with the bonding privilege, we
would only be carrying out the historic policy of the United States of America which, ever since it has become a nation, has put upon its statute books, the very class of legislation for which I am asking to-day. In 1817, 105 years ago, Congress and the Senate passed the following:
Commerce between the territories shall be regarded as coastwise and shall be confined to vessels built in the United States, officered by the United States citizens, flying the United States flag.
That has been their policy during all these long 105 years since this legislation was placed upon their statute books.
Without, I hope, wearying the House and without quoting too many statutes, let us follow their policy through the years. In 1868, their navigation laws as to transportation of merchandise were extended around Alaska. When they had taken possession of the Hawaiian islands, let us find what legislation they passed in this regard. It will be found in an act which was passed in April, 1900, and which reads:
The coasting trades between the islands aforesaid and any other portion of the United States shall be regulated in accordance with the provisions applicable to such trade between two great coasting districts.
Let us take Porto Rico. You will find, in an act pertaining to that island, the following:
The coasting trade between Porto Rico and the United States shall be regulated in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to such trade between any two great coasting districts of the United States.
Not only did they throw their coasting laws around Alaska on this continent; not only did they reach out to Porto Rico; not only did they go to the middle of the Pacific with their coasting laws, to cover the Hawaiian islands; but even to the Antipodes this law follows, and we find, in reference to the Philippine islands, the following statute:
No merchandise except supplies for the army or navy shall be transported by sea, under penalty of forfeiture thereof, between ports of the United States and ports or places in the Philippine archipelago, directly or via a foreign port or for any part of the voyage, in any other vessel than a vessel of the United States.
Section 2. That on and after April 11, 1909, no foreign vessel shall transport passengers between ports of the United States of America and ports or places in the Philippine archipelago, whether directly or by way of foreign ports under a penalty of $200 for each passenger so transported and landed.
That is a law of the United States of America to-day. Yet, we are to be told that we must not confine the British pre-
ference, this family arrangement, as I have stated, to Canadian ports because, forsooth, we might offend the United States of America. If we take that stand, we must admit that we are not independent; that we are not a self-reliant nation; that we cannot depend upon the facilities that are provided in our own country. We cannot maintain the dignity of national citizenship if we adopt such a position and do not declare, by this legislation, our independence of the United States of America.
I shall briefly outline the history of this policy in this House which I am advocating to-day. In 1904 I had the honour to move a similar resolution and in 1907 it was my pleasure to see that resolution incorporated in the Budget of that year; incorporated, however, with a proviso moved by the then Prime Minister that it should come into operation by Order in Council. I propose now to read for the benefit of the House one or two extracts from speeches made by the leading men of this country at that time. An hon. gentleman, whom I am glad to see with us to-day, although we do not agree politically, the Nestor of the Houses-I refer to the member for South York (Mr. Maclean)-in 1907, speaking on my resolution, used the following language :
I intend to give this proposal not only my sympathy, which is sometimes of the cold potato nature, but my vote as well. I have no great belief in a measure of trade based on a preference, where the Government offering it asks for nothing in return, and where the Government receiving it does not see the propriety of giving anything in return. On that ground alone I would vote for the proposal.
He goes on:
The best and only way to improve our Canadian ports is to direct to them all the trade we can control. In the case of the preference, we can more or less control that trade, and if we have confidence in our own ports, and if we are spending millions and millions to develop a national transcontinental system, it is our duty to endeavour to develop these ports on the lines laid down in the resolution.
I am glad to quote another hon. member who is also with us to-day. Let me read from the remarks of the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). Speaking in 1904 in reference to a similar resolution, he said:
It is a subject on which there is need of education, not only outside of this House, but possibly inside the House. I am aware that possibly, from some points of view, objections may be raised to the motion of my hon. friend ; but, for my own part, I am heartily in favour of it, and if he decides to divide the House upon it I shall have pleasure in giving my vote in sup-
port of the motion. For the purpose of the present budget and the present condition of affairs we cannot deal with it. But I hope there will be such an educational movement on the question that, at no distant day, we may adopt it as part of our practical legislation. If that can be done at no distant day, no one will rejoice more than I shall. I think that the reasons that my hon. friend has given in support of his motion are strong, and I believe that the more the subject is discussed, the more likely we are to reach the conclusion that he has reached after so much consideration.
Let me now quote from one who, in the councils of the nation at that time, was even a higher authority than the present Minister of Finance. Our late lamented chieftain, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, speaking in 1907, is reported in Hansard (page 4323) as follows:
In view of the different opinions expressed to-day upon this very important question, it ought not to be difficult for the House to come to a unanimous conclusion. Every member who has addressed himself to this question has, with one exception-the exception of my hon. friend from East Toronto (Mr. Kemp)-pronounced himself in favour of the principle of this motion. My hon. friend from East Toronto is the only one who has taken exception to the principle itself. But doubt has arisen as to whether, admitting the principle, the time is opportune for declaring such a policy as that embodied in the motion of my hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan). My hon. friend's resolution is quite in keeping with the policy followed by this country for the last fifty years, namely, the developing of Canadian trade within Canadian channels. Everybody in this country for the last fifty years, especially since the inauguration of Confederation, has followed such a policy. Fifty years ago, when we began to build railways, we began to build them north and south, and the objective point of all of them was some American port. The ports of Boston, New York and Portland were the three through which we got our imports in the winter. But after Confederation we began to build up another policy. We began to dispense with American harbours and to bring the trade to our own ports. This policy we have followed to the present day and with a reasonable measure of success. Take our Importations from Great Britain; from seventy to seventy-five per cent come through Canadian harbours and only twenty-five to thirty per cent through American ports. The question now is whether or not, following out that policy, we are in a position to adopt the policy proposed by my hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan). He proposes that the benefit of British preference should be given only to such goods as come through Canadian ports.
At page 4326, Sir Wilfrid continues:
But I look upon this motion as a completion of the policy which we inaugurated four years ago when we resolved to construct another transcontinental railway from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean. When this railway is in operation, as by the terms of the contract it must be in operation in the month of December, 1911, then will be a fitting time to adopt this policy. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I would not be disposed to agree altogether with the motion of my hon.
friend if it is intended to apply it in the month of May, 1908 ; it will, however, fittingly apply in 1911 when the transcontinental railway will be completed. Then we shall have two competing lines from the maritime harbours to the great new centre that is developing west of the great lakes, and then when the people of the Northwest will have two lines in operation to carry their imports and exports, we will be in a position safely to apply the policy indicated in the motion of my hon. friend from Cumberland.
Referring to any possibility of the abrogation of the bonding privilege, Sir Wilfrid said:
Now, would the adoption of this policy at the present time have any effect upon the bonding privilege? I do not think so. The bonding privilege merely gives us the privilege of carrying our own goods through their territory, and gives them the privilege of carrying their goods through our territory. But if we choose by domestic arrangement to bring trade into our channels, we do not merely abolish the bonding privilege, we simply become independent of it. Well, Sir, was not one of the objects we had in view when we introduced the policy of building a new transcontinental railway to get rid of our dependence upon the bonding privilege? Our policy is to be free of the need of using Amer'ioan harbours and of the need of a bonding privilege; we desire to be in such a position that at all times we can bring our imports and send our exports through our own channels independently of American harbours and the bonding privilege. Moreover, we are to remember that the benefits of the bonding privilege are reciprocal. The Americans use our territory and we use their territory. But if it should come to this, that the bonding privilege were taken away from us by the United States, we can take away from them the bonding privilege which they enjoy of carrying their goods through our territory, and in that case I think the United States would have more to lose than we would have. However, I would be sorry if it ever came to that; we do not want to have with our American neighbours any but the most friendly relations. I would be sorry if the bonding privilege was interefered with, but if it is ever interfered with at all, I am ready to say that in my humble judgment we have less to lose than our American neighbours, and they would hesitate before interfering with the bonding privilege. They may do so, however. Twice already they have threatened us with the destruction of the bonding privilege, and at that time it would have been a serious blow to us, because we were not equipped then, as we shall be by and by, to be able to do without it. When we have another transcontinental railway in operation I think we shall be absolutely independent of the bonding privilege.
Sir Wilfrid concluded his statement by saying:
The motion of my hon. friend is all right; it is a little premature.
He then moved the following amendment, which was carried unanimously.
That on and after a date to be named by the Governor in Council the British preference shall apply only to goods brought into Canada if shipped through a Canadian seaport.
I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the time has long gone by when the policy then made a principle of our tariff should have been put into force. At that time, as you know, Sir, we had only one transcontinental railway, and that circumstance constituted an argument against the adoption of this policy, because the people in the West said: You will put us at the mercy of one single line of railway north of lake Superior. That, too, was the objection of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. But in 1907 he stated that we would have a second transcontinental line, and could in 1911 adopt this policy. Well, today we have three transcontinental railways instead of two; and if we could adopt this policy in 1911, we are in a still better position to adopt it now. Before the time arrived when Sir Wilfrid Laurier promised that this policy would be brought into force a change of government took place, and the matter has been lying dormant ever since.
I submit, Mr. Speaker, that it is a policy which should now be incorporated in our tariff when the Budget is brought down this session.
There has been, however, some progress along the lines which I advocated. For instance, I turn to chapter 13 of the statutes of 1921 and I find that the West Indies Trade Agreement, enacted May 3 of that year, contains the following passage:
The Government of Canada on giving six months' notice may provide that, to be entitled to the concessions granted in Articles II and III. the products of any of the colonies aforesaid shall be conveyed by ship direct without transhipment from the said colony or from one of the other colonies entitled to the advantages of this agreement into a Canadian port.
I find that on the 4th of the following month legislation was passed to further amend the customs tariff, 1907, the act being cited as The Customs Tariff Amendment Act, 1921, and section 2 thereof reads:
2. Notwithstanding anything in this Act, goods, other than tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, spirituous or alcoholic liquors and articles specified in Schedule A of The West Indies Trade Agreement Act, the product or manufacture of British Honduras, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos Islands, the Leeward Islands (Antigua, St. Christopher-Nevis, Dominica, Montserrat, and the Virgin Islands) , the Windward Islands (Grenada, St. Vincent and St. Lucia), Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and British Guiana; when Imported direct therefrom shall not be subject at any time to more than fifty per centum of the duties imposed on similar goods as set forth in the general tariff under regulations by the Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue.
So some progress has been made along the lines which I and other members of this
House have advocated during a good many years. If "Canada for Canadians'' is a good policy, then "Canadian ports for Canadian ships'' ought to be equally as good a policy.
But, Mr. Speaker, I may state frankly that I do not intend to press this motion to a final vote, for I do not expect the Government to commit itself and enunciate its tariff policy until the Budget is brought down by the Minister of Finance. But I do expect the Government to enact what Sir Wilfred Laurier promised in 1907 would be put upon our statute books in 1911. I expect the Government to adopt a policy which will be thoroughly Canadian, and to declare to the world that we have well-equipped summer and winter ports. We have spent millions of dollars upon these ports in the last few years. Recently sixteen million dollars have been spent on the great port of Halifax, while millions more have been spent upon the ports of Quebec and Montreal and upon our Pacific ports; and hundreds of millions of dollars have been expended in the building of railroads to carry goods east and west. We have talked about building up a "United Canada". Surely there is no one in this House who would object even if in the beginning the adoption of this policy resulted in an increase of one or two cents a ton on the transportation of our freight, which increase I do not admit. I presume that this matter of freights may be gone into by my hon. friend from St. John and Albert (Mr. Baxter), who is to follow me in this debate. But I do desire to point out that even if the putting of this policy into effect did cost us a few cents a ton more on freight, surely it is worth that to be independent of ports of the United States. That country has shown its independence all along the line: its people glory in their ports-and they use them. Let us do the same, so that at this time after the awful cataclysm of war "out from the mists of humanity's sorrows" Canadians may take their stand, certain of their destiny, and with heads erect proudly declare that they will patronize their own seaports on the Atlantic and Pacific-seaports which are open the year round for commerce with the whole world.
Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend (Mr. Logan) has wandered far afield for argument on this question. I purpose to confine my arguments strictly to the resolution before the House. The British preference was embodied in the Tariff Revision Act of 1897, becoming
float through a part of the province of New Brunswick in its entrance to Canada. They demonstrated the value of their port; they begat the confidence of the Canadian Pacific Railway in that port. As the result of that great experiment the Government of Canada undertook to supplement the expenditure, and have spent millions in that port to promote the handling of Canadian trade through Canadian channels. That principle has been followed, sometimes more and sometimes less closely, without the slightest regard to the succession of governments which we have had in the last twenty-five or thirty years. It has become a national principle, a principle well expressed by that gentleman of whose great statesmanship we all show our appreciation, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. His aim, as he expresed it, wa.i never to be satisfied until every pound of Canadian freight that could possibly be brought through Canadian channels was so brought. I stand here as a Conservative, but that doctrine is good enough for me, and I believe it is good enough for the people of Canada. I have no quarrel with the source from which it came; I only want to see Sir Wilfrid Laurier's desire carried into practical effect for the good of the whole country which he undoubtedly loved.
Now I said that the Government of Canada had spent many millions of dollars in the port of St. John. We have not there a system of control by a harbour commission. I regret that we have not, but it is not a topic of discussion at the present hour. You go to Halifax, the other important port in the maritime provinces, and you find that large amounts of government money have been expended there for the very same purpose, and for a proper purpose-the equipping of a national port. You have not there, I think, a harbour commission either. But go to the port of Quebec; there you have a harbour commission, and you have the credit of this country at the back of the people who administer the affairs of that port and rightly so. You have the same thing at Montreal and you have also at Vancouver. Now you have the people of Canada, as taxpayers, directly interested in the success or failure of the flowing of trade through these ports. I ask you as business men is that worth consideration or is it not? Is it worth doing something that will bring more trade, and will render less probable an avalanche of accumulated debt falling upon this country? Is it better to
develop trade through these ports and by the tolls which are collected put beyond possibility any defaulting in the interest upon the bonds and the consequent drain upon the federal exchequer? This is a very simple 'proposition.
How is the principle embodied in this resolution to be carried out upon the Atlantic seaboard? It is no use for us to simply say that we want people to bring in British goods through Halifax or St. John, or both, and in the summer time through Quebec and Montreal. They will not do it merely because we ask them. Is it possible to lay down such a line of policy that they will find it to their interest to bring their goods into our ports and thereby support those public expenditures by the proper contribution, which contribution otherwise would go to ports in a foreign country? That is simply what it is; that is what we are asking. It does not reduce the tariff preference by one tittle. You will get just as low custom duties if the goods are coming in through Vancouver or through the ports of Montreal or Quebec, or Halifax or St. John.
It has been suggested that there might be something more in the way of railway charges. I am not sure that I am totally in accord with the hon. member who advanced that view. I believe that the principle in railway management is a sound one, that the long haul should be at lower rates than the short haul in order to overcome the natural obstacle of distance which creates so much difficulty in handling the commerce of this long drawn-out country. I believe it would be possible, especially by means of the ownership of the government system of railways in conjunction with the practical control which the Government has over the majority of the ports of this country, to so organize co-operation between the railroads and the ports that the importer in the interior would not pay any more for his freight.
discuss that question this afternoon; it is not necessary to discuss it; but I am not at all afraid of the challenge. I do not think it requires any genius or even statesmanship and I do not think it requires more than the most ordinary form of administration, to be able to discard the port of Portland, or, at all events, to put it into such a position that anyone seeking to export or import goods would use the ports within our own terri-ory by preference. Personally, if I were handling the problem, I would tell my hon. friend exactly how I would handle it I would impose a differential toll against the port of Portland, and make it more expensive to bring goods from that port, or take them out by that port, than by Halifax or St. John. In other words I would shape the railway policy so as to build up this country instead of building up another country, and if my hon. friend is interested in pursuing that branch of the question, I will refer them to the files of the St. John Globe and the St. John Telegraph during the last campaign, where they will find that they were attacking the preceding government because, they claimed, that government was building up Portland, Maine, at the expense of our country, and they were demanding that that should not be done. If my hon. friend will get in line with the St. John Globe and the St. John Telegraph, the exponents of his party, that will be perfectly satisfactory to me, and he will be pursuing a policy exactly on the line that I desire to see pursued. And, had the former government not been defeated, I would have been advocating that policy in its councils. If, however, the hon. gentleman chooses to turn his back upon the organs of his party, if he chooses to stand as an advocate of Portland, Maine, all I can hope is that he will stand alone in this House.
Something has been said with regard to the possibility of retaliation. I think, so far as I could hear, my hon. friend was dealing with that question extensively, and I do not wish to travel over the same ground again, but we might just as well talk of retaliation with regard to any item of the tariff. There is no magic about the British
preference, it is nothing more nor less than an item of the tariff, a means of raising revenue, or of protecting the industries of this country. It simply says: We will protect our industries a little less against the manufacturers of Great Britain than we will against the manufacturers of United States or elsewhere. If that is not cause for retaliation in itself, if the United States and other countries do not choose to say: If you do not give us entry into your markets on -the same terms as the Mother Country, we will boycott you,-what possible reason can -they have for saying it if we draw the line a little further and say: We will only give you the benefit of that tariff when you bring your goods into Canadian seaports. I would like to go one step further and add "and only in British or Canadian-owned bottoms". I believe the Government and the House would do well to think of the possibility of utilizing our Canadian Government Merchant Marine for the importation of goods, with a special preference because they are Canadian bottoms owned by the Canadian Government. I do not care how much you limit it, the goods will get in, but we may just as well foster our own enterprise and look after our own country.
We are perhaps in rather a peculiar position in the ports of Halifax and St. John. Both ports have done much to attract this overseas trade. It has had beneficial results in both localities. It has increased, to some extent, our population. It has certainly increased the population of both cities, but I would like to tell my hon. friends who live inland that in both those cities there is not yet any domination of trade. We have not the wholesalers there who are handling the products of Canada and filling the ships with cargoes themselves. The financial centre, the great trading centres of Canada, are not down by the sea. We have to depend entirely upon other localities to provide our cargoes. The result is that, so far, all that we in the maritime provinces get out of this trade is that we are what I might call hewers of wood and drawers of water. We have added to the labour of our port. We have got also a certain market for supplies to the vessels. All this, manifestly, can be increased, if you will, where possible, bring the trade of Canada through our gateway. More than that, in time, when our ports develop to the proportions we are seeking and hoping, you will eventually find men at those ports who will begin to direct at least a part of the commerce of the
world. Now, is what ,1 am going to propose fair or is it not? Gentlemen come here from the centre of this country and make their feelings manifest through many modes of expression. They say, "Consider our situation, consider the difficulties with which we have to struggle, consider the work we did as pioneers in this country, and give us some relief from customs duties and from this, that and the other thing." I say to you who put forward those propositions: "Look also down iby the sea and visualize the difficulties through which our people have gone when we helped to form Confederation and to mould this Dominion of Canada, and will you say to us that we are asking anything unfair if we seek to have the Dominion held together, not merely by the bonds of steel that have been run across it at an expenditure of millions upon millions, but by a bond of sentiment from the Pacific to the Atlantic which will strive to deal justly with all parts of Canada, and which will rejoice in the expansion and development of every part?" If we can get that spirit, my hon. friend's motion is assured of success. I suggest that, instead of withdrawing the motion, the hon. gentleman should slightly modify it. I do not put it as a matter of dictation to the Government, nor do I believe in an hon. member proposing a resolution simply for the purpose of dropping it after discussion. I want to see something real as the product of an hour's discussion, and I would suggest that the hon. member amend it and make it read:
That in the opinion of the House it is desirable the Government should consider carefully the limitation of the British tariff preference to goods brought into Canada through Canadian seaports.
In that form it would be a strong expression of opinion that it is desirable the Government should 'consider. On the other hand, it will not place the Government of the country in a position of having a policy dictated to it in advance of its own consideration. I trust that it may be possible for my suggestion to be accepted.
I apologize for having detained the House at such length but if 'anything I have said will have the effect of helping to solve, even to a small extent, the problems we have in the maritime provinces, I shall feel that I have not wholly lost the time I have occupied in the House this afternoon.
[Mr. Baxter.! moved by the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Logan), and which, I think, I may say, without transgressing the bounds of good taste, has been seconded by the hon. member for St. John and Albert (Mr. Baxter), is one that, if it were to receive the serious consideration of this House, would, indeed, be an important resolution. I am reminded, however, that the hon. member for Cumberland stated that he had been preaching this doctrine in this House for twenty-odd years. He does not appear to have made a great deal of progress in that time, and I venture the prediction that he will still be preaching it for another twenty years, without getting very much further on; nor am I convinced that the exhibition we have had this afternoon of a very fine bit of team work between the hon. member for Cumberland and the hon. member for St. John and Albert,-who usually do not see eye to eye on questions before this House-has advanced very much the cause for which this resolution stands. Indeed, I was almost of the opinion, when I listened to the hon. member for Cumberland, that he should be sitting over beside the hon. member for St. John and Albert.
The hon. member for Cumberland argued that this is a necessary measure to provide traffic for our Canadian railways. You, Mr. Speaker, and the House, will observe that, if this resolution were incorporated into the law of Canada, all goods coming from Great Britain to Canada, in order to secure the British preference, would have to come through Canadian ports. That is the whole purpose of the resolution. My hon. friend argues that this would furnish additional business for Canadian railways, and he states that the Canadian railways Kvere built to carry traffic east and west. That is not altogether true of the Canadian Pacific railway, nor is it true of the Intercolonial railway. The Intercolonial railway, as every hon. member, knows, was built as a part of the understanding in connection with Confederation, and the Canadian Pacific railway was built to link up the eastern provinces of that day with the new province of British Columbia that had come into Confederation in 1871. Consequently, these roads were not built primarily for the purpose of carrying traffic east and west. The hon. member for Cumberland also argued-and his contention was supported by the hon. member for St. John and Albert-that the passing of measures of this kind would really result
in lower costs to the Canadian people. They argued that ships carrying goods to Europe had difficulty in getting return cargoes to Canadian ports, and that if this measure were passed and British goods compelled to come in through Canadian ports, that would give these vessels the return cargoes they require and, consequently, bring about a reduction in freight rates. That is the most fallacious argument that could possibly be advanced in support of the resolution, because the facts of the case are precisely the reverse. Why is it that ocean freights from Atlantic ports in the United States to Great Britain are usually more favourable than from Canadian ports? It is due to the fact alone that vessels plying between American ports, such as New York, Baltimore, Newport News, Boston and Philadelphia, and European ports, can get return cargoes from Europe for American ports when they cannot get return cargoes for Canadian ports. Anyone knows that who has had any experience in export business.
I will deal with that matter just in a moment. I have had some experience in this because for a good many years the company with which I have been and am still identified was a large exporter of grain from America to Europe, and it was invariably found that better conditions governing export, both in the securing of charters and the rates of freight, could be obtained from American ports than from Canadian ports. Why was this the case? Simply because the return traffic from Great Britain and Europe comes in immensely greater volume to United States Atlantic ports than it does to Canadian ports, for the reason that the United States has a population of 108,000,000 or 110,000,000 people against our 9,000,000 or
10,000,000 people, and consequently importations from Europe to supply the needs of that great United States population give the traffic for the west-bound trip. My hon. friends seek to reverse this. By an enactment of the Parliament, they seek to create a condition that will throw trade out of its normal, natural channel into an artificial channel created by this Government. I submit that is not in the interest of the Canadian people as a whole. My hon. friends may argue with considerable force that this may be of some advantage to the ports of St. John and Halifax; but if it be
of advantage to those ports, that advantage will hold for only a certain period of the year. As everyone knows, these ports are winter ports. Their harbours are open the year around. The great harbour of Montreal that is, after all, the greatest seaport in Canada by all odds-
I note I have some support for that idea. The great harbour of Montreal is open only a portion of the year, and when Montreal is open, St. John and Halifax get practically no business whatever for paints west of Montreal. Consequently, this proposal, that by arbitrary legislation of this Parliament we shall create artificial trade routes in order that our Atlantic seaports-and I have no wish whatever to say anything in disparagement of them-may enjoy a more profitable business for a few months in the year, is a proposition that is totally absurd and that should not command the support of this House.
There is another feature of the matter. If the purport of this resolution were incorporated into our Canadian laws and all British goods came in through Canadian ports, what guarantee can my hon friends give that the freight rates on those goods will not increase from Canadian ports to the interior where they are consumed? At the present time, with these goods having the privilege of coming in through United States ports in bond, we have the element of competition in transportation costs. That element would be completely eliminated were the resolution of my hon. friend carried.
We have heard a good deal of talk from my hon. friends about being independent of the United States. Now, Sir, I thought the time had passed when any hon. gentleman in this House was of the opinion that this or any other country, in matters of trade, can live to itself alone. That is simply impossible. In fact, as the years go on the interdependence of nations in matters of trade is growing, and there is an increasing realization of the fact; and to argue that we must be independent of the United States in respect of any matter of that kind is but to make a sort of patriotic appeal that has no basis whatever in real patriotism.
There is another fact in connection with this question which perhaps has a more remote bearing upon it, but which, nevertheless, should not be overlooked. It is a
well-known fact that eastern American cities, particularly the seaboard cities, were among the strongest believers in reciprocity in natural products between Canada and the United States. I think it is of some value to Canada to have that feeling existing in that country. My hon. friends to the right of me, il know, have no faith in the value of reciprocity to Canadian development. I trust that that feeling is not shared by my hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan). If these favourable trade arrangements with the United States are to be secured, they are to be secured, not by our taking any step that would antagonize a body of opinion in that country that is now favourable to the proposal, but by our cultivating that opinion in the hope that eventually a satisfactory arrangement may be brought about.
There is something else, too, that should not be ignored. Within recent years there has been a steady growth in the amount of American business that has been carried through the port of Montreal. Why do nations have their trade carried in this way? Business concerns and individuals, who are buying goods from foreign countries and selling in return, buy and sell those goods along the lines that are most advantageous to them, and if goods are coming through the United States now, what is the explanation of that fact? The reason is simply because the Canadian people and Canadian firms can secure those goods more cheaply in that way than in any other way. And are we to set up an arbitrary provision of this Parliament that will compel the people of Canada to purchase the things they need from Great Britain through an arbitrary channel that will increase the cost to the consumers? That is a point that must not be overlooked in considering the question; and if we undertake to create a discrimination, in the matter of these importations, against the United States seaports, may we not reasonably expect that opinion in the United States-if indeed their government does not-will set up contrary discriminations against our port in Montreal? I am a great believer in the future of the port of Montreal, because the great business that lies away back in the interior can come down to Montreal by boat in the open season of navigation, and be transferred to the ocean liners that carry the goods to their ultimate markets. I trust, therefore, that the Government will not listen [ Mr. Crerar.]
to the admonitions of my hon. friends from Cumberland (Mr. Logan) and St. John (Mr. Baxter), so far as this question is concerned.
My hon. friend from St. John introduced the tariff, and said that protection was necessary in this country for the purpose of securing a revenue. I do not propose to debate that question to-day, because it is not particularly germane to the resolution under consideration; and I endeavour in this House, I am afraid not always successfully, to confine my remarks to the subject matter under discussion. But I may be permitted to say that if my hon. friend from St. John thinks that a tariff of 30 or 35 per cent, for instance, on woollen goods coming into this country-I take that as an illustration-facilitates the getting of revenue through a customs duty, I think he has something yet to learn. Let me say once more, what I have said in this House before, that a tariff based on the needs of revenue is a totally different thing from a tariff based on the principle of protection. So far, some of my hon. friends have not been able to grasp that fact. I agree with everything that my hon. friend from St. John has said, or anything that any one else can say, in regard to the need and desirability ocf binding this country together. We know that there are diverse elements in the population of Canada. We have a country that is flung across the American continent for over four thousand miles, and we have a danger of sectional differences. But I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the possibility of removing these differences is not advanced by any resolution such as is submitted to this House this afternoon by my hon. friend; and on the high ground of Canadian national unity I would appeal to the hon. member to withdraw his motion. Anything in this Dominion of ours that seeks to advance the interests of any single section of the community at the expense of the rest of Canada does not make for national unity. I know that the part of Canada from which I come is sometimes regarded as having a narrow, sectional outlook. I am aware that that view is held; but I have never, at any time or place in this country, discussed our national problems from that angle. We must find common ground on which to appeal to the Canadian people to build up a united Canadian nation, and I submit that the purpose of this resolution, instead of advancing that ideal, as my hon. friend from St. John suggests, would on the contrary retard it. For that reason,
if for no other, I shall oppose the resolution if it goes to a vote.
I desire to ask the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) a question, the purpose of which is not in any way to refute any of his arguments. He says that he has declared several times in the House that a revenue tariff is not the same as a protective tariff. I absolutely agree with him, but I should like to have him explain, although perhaps it may not be altogether in order, what he means by this statement.
I do not know whether or not I am in order in answering the question, but the statement I made was that a tariff based on the needs of revenue is a different thing altogether from a tariff based on the principle of protection. No matter what the duties may be, any tariff affords protection incidentally. That is a fact that any one who knows anything about tariffs admits.