The hon. member says it did not hurt him, but it has been noticeable that he has been very quiet, and that his voice has scarcely been heard since in this Parliament. It must have had a considerable effect upon the Minister of Agriculture. I was inclined to agree with the Minister of Agriculture, and I could scarcely understand why the Minister of Finance should become so annoyed and exhibit the temper which he did on that occasion. It is quite evident that the Minister of Finance is determined to have his own way in the Government, and if he decides to go through with this budget as it is, undoubtedly it will go through, but if other counsels prevail, and they overcome the views of the Minister of Finance, we do not know what the result will be.
I have already referred to the views entertained by hon. members opposite; some of them are extreme free traders and others are strong protectionists; in fact, we knew very well during the recent
The Budget-Mr. Sutherland
campaign they had practically a policy to suit the requirements of every constituency. This was the policy pursued by the Government throughout the campaign, and, as far as their platform was concerned, I do not believe that they paid very much attention to it. I was of the opinion, all through the campaign, that there was a tacit understanding between the Liberal party and what is called the Progressive party that they were out to defeat the government. Judging frcxm things that have happened since this session has opened, I have not seen any reason to change my views in that regard.
In 1920 a by-election was held in western Ontario, and the present Prime Minister (Mr. King) when he was interviewed on that occasion by a correspondent of the London Advertiser, made a statement with regard to the prospects during the next general election, and this statement was made in reference to a trip which he had just had through western Canada:
The people were most anxious to hear the trade policy of the Liberal party outlined. Of course, a large part of the audience was formed by farmers, who are more or less aligned with the new party, but they gave us a most cordial welcome just the same. Their policy is essentially Liberal, and it was quite plain that they realized we must stand together if we are to get results. The National Liberal-Conservative party is devoting all its efforts in an attempt to bring about a division of the farmers and the Liberals, but their success along these lines has not been very apparent.
That may be quite true; but at the same time, it is evident that every discordant element in this country was lined up with the object of defeating the late government in the last general election. After the elections were over, a different atmosphere prevailed, and this was indicated by the following statement made by the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster). He said: "After the fight is over, why do you say anything about what took place?"
A year ago the present Minister of Finance referred to a speech that was made in the Wesit by the leader of the official Opposition (Mr. Meighen). The Minister of Finance quoted Mr. Meighen as having stated at Winnipeg:
Mr. Fielding has time and again given his adherence to the protective principle, and never in language more unequivocal than employed in recent years.
The Minister of Finance stated:
My right hon. friend is mistaken. I never gave any adherence to the principle of protection. , . If I had to choose between the
two principles by all means I would start from the standpoint of free trade.
That was the statement made by the Minister of Finance on that occasion. The year before in this House, he said, and he was evidently preparing the people of this country for what has taken place:
I do not even think we can expect to get a safe and sound tariff policy by a too rigid adherence to every line and every letter of the tariff platform. I think myself that we will find that we are all prone in framing platforms to put things perhaps a little more strongly than is wise, and we all find when we come to the responsibilities of office that we have to modify our views.
The following day the 'hon. member for Brome in this House used these words in a most vigorous speech:
Mr. Speaker: Protection as a policy for this country is not only dead, but after the next election it will, as Disraeli said, "be damned!"
Those were his views with regard to his policy at that time. The hon. member for Brome, so emphatic and so satisfied in his own mind, even ventured into the field of prophecy on that occasion. We have had further statements with regard to the policy of the Liberal party iby those who, I think we might assume, ought to know what they are talking about. In 1907 there was a proposal before the House to reduce the duty on agricultural implements, and the then hon. member for Souris moved the following amendment:
That the committee reconsider item 445 and that it be amended by striking out the figures 17 i per cent in the general tariff and inserting in lieu thereof the figures 10 per cent.
This is in relation to the duties on agricultural implements that my hon. friends to the left have been advocating so strenuously. What did the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) have to say on that occasion, although a year ago and, indeed, whenever it suits his purpose, he states that he is absolutely opposed to protection and that he favours the idea of free trade? The Minister of Finance spoke on that occasion, and you will find his words quoted at page 5621 of Hansard of that year:
Mr. Fielding: .... by a careful calculation, we are advised that the drawbacks we allow are somewhat less than the disadvantage under which the manufacturer is placed by the reduction of the tariff Even suppose for a
moment that he got everything free and had a duty of 17J per cent on the implement, would that be an extravagant duty as things go in this country? .... I believe this proposal of the hon. member for Souris, if adopted, would do an injustice to an established industry. . . . My belief that if this motion were passed, we would strike a severe blow at one of the great industries of the country. I believe the Inter-
The Budget-Mr. Sutherland
national Harvester Company would find it to its interest to close up its business in Hamilton, at least so much of it as is devoted to mowers and binders, and have them made at the American branch and bring them from the United States. The factory in Hamilton is an American concern. With a moderate duty we have induced American capital to come into Canada and to establish that great industry, and after we have brought it in and established it in Canada I believe that if we were to pass this resolution the company operating that industry would find it profitable to close the Hamilton factory and bring in goods which they make in the United States.
This was the view of the Minister of Finance on that occasion, when hon. members in this House were asking to have the tariff reduced on agricultural implements. The Hon. Mr. Paterson on that occasion stated:
I do not disguise the fact that we propose to give these people nearly the amount of reduction in duty that has been made. For it must be remembered that 175 per cent is no more than a revenue tariff.
The hon. member for Brome the other day was dilating upon the traditions of the Liberal party. I wonder what he has to say with regard to that statement by Hon. Mr. Paterson:
175 per cent is no more than a revenue tariff.
It is not approaching a protective tariff at all. Yet we listened this afternoon to the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) and the other day to the Minister of Finance, claiming that the people of this country made a terrible mistake in 1911 when they did not accept the proposition which was made to them by the government of that day and adopt the reciprocity pact of Messrs. Fielding and Paterson. We have heard that during the election campaign, from every platform where it suited their convenience to advocate such a policy. What are the facts with regard to that matter? If you had the tariff that is adopted under the reciprocity arrangement or agreement entered into by Mr. Paterson and the present Minister of Finance on that occasion, you would have to increase the duties on agricultural implements all along the line very materially, and you would place on the free list everything that the farmer raises without his receiving any corresponding advantage. Do you suppose, Sir, for one moment, that had that agreement been adopted by the people of this country, it would have had any influence upon the people of the United States when a change of government took place in that country when it suited their convenience to adopt
a policy which they believed was in their interest? Have they in the past shown any regard or consideration for the interest of this country? Have they not always placed their own, first, last and always? You cannot blame them for doing so. They are looking after their own interest and they would have done so, in any event because this agreement was not a treaty or binding; it was termed simply a pact, which might be denounced at any time by either party to it. We should have been compelled to develop new channels of trade again just as we did in 1866, after the treaty of 1854 had been denounced by the United States government. There were people in this country in 1911 who had a distinct recollection of what took place on that occasion and they were not going to be led into another trap of that kind, when conditions indicated in no uncertain manner the fact that the agreement was more in the interests of the United States than of Canada.
Under the reciprocity pact the duty on waggons was 22J per cent, and we reduced it to 20 per cent. The hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) claimed that he had a cause to resign from the government in 1919, because he differed from it on its tariff policy. The other tariffs under reciprocity were hay-loaders 20 per cent, reapers 15 per cent, binders 15 per cent, mowers 15 per cent, and windmills 20 per cent, reduced to 17i per cent. What about cement? We have not heard much during this debate with regard to cement. But, oh! how it figured during the election campaign. There was a provision in the reciprocity pact for a tariff of 11 cents per hundred pounds on cement, but the government that succeeded the administration of that day reduced that tariff to eight cents per hundred pounds, at which figure it has remained ever since. These were things that were done for the benefit of the people of this country by the governments after 1911, but they were not provided for in the reciprocity agreement of 1911. The duty on binders, mowers, and these other things was reduced to 12J per cent instead of 15 per cent as proposed in that pact. There were some other things that farmers are vitally interested in that were not provided for in the reciprocity agreement; but to 'hear some members of the Progressive party one would suppose that any one who does not come from the prairie provinces would 'be encroaching on the prerogatives of true farmers to mention these things. We have heard so much about
The Budget-Mr. Sutherland
farming from these gentlemen that apparently there is only one class of people who are qualified to call themselves farmers, and that is the grain growers of western Canada. However, I shall mention some of the other articles in which the farmers of Canada generally are very much interested. Butter was made free under the reciprocity pact. Now, during the past year upwards of two million pounds of butter were brought into this country from Great Britain under the British preference, to say nothing of millions of pounds imported from the United 'States. Does the farmer of Canada not obtain any advantage from a protective tariff in view of these importations? The United States put their tariff on butter up to eight cents per pound, and yet hon. gentlemen in this House who call themselves farmers say they do not need protection, advocate that it should be done away with, and declare that we should have everything free.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE