Year Dutiable Duty Collected Total Receipts Per Cent.$ $ $ cts. 1871 60,094,362 11,807,590 19,375,036 79 60-941881 71,620,725 18,492,645 29,635,297 54 62-401891 74,536,036 23,416,266 38,579,310 88 60-791901 105,969,756 29,106,980 52,516,332 76 55-451911 282,723,812 73,312,368 117,884,328 36 621921 47,561,406 174,775,787 436,292,184 41 401922 105,500,000 381,271,000 00 28
The revenue from customs decreased last year by some $57,000,000, as was stated by the hon. Minister of Finance. The minister estimates that the current year will show another decrease of some two millions and a half. The estimated customs revenue for this year is $103,000,000. Compared with the total estimated revenue, and adding to the latter the probable increased revenue which we shall receive from the new taxes, the percentage of customs revenue for this year will be even less than it was last year; in other words, we shall receive this year from customs collections less than 28 per cent of our total revenue, whereas in 1871, 1881 and even as late as 1891 it amounted to 60 per cent of our total revenue. In the United Kingdom, to which reference has been made many times during this debate, and which is cited as a free trade country, we find that the revenue from customs and excise amounts to about 25 per cent of the total revenue. Mr. Speaker, to-day as last year, as in the first days of Confederation, we require the tariff revenue to meet our expenditures.
Same hon. members have contended during this debate that the industrial establishments of the country have not been beneficial1 to Canada but have rather hindered its development. I must say that none of the speeches I have heard or have read have convinced me that such a contention is justified. On the contrary, I believe to-day, as I believed in the past, that the manufacturers have been a strong factor in the development of Canada. With the majority if not with all the members of this House, I am of opinion that the basic industry of Canada is agriculture. But I am of opinion also that without our
The Budget-Sir Lomer Gouin
manufactures our country would not have reached the degree of development that it has attained to-day.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, whose authority we all like so much to cite in this House and outside, before he was entrusted with the administration of affairs in this country, long before, at the very commencement of his brilliant career declared in 1871 in a speech which he made before the House of Quebec that we should not think of remaining a farming country, and he declared in most emphatic terms that we should create national industries in this country. Here is the language used by Sir Wilfrid Laurier on that occasion:
It is a humiliating confession to make that, after three centuries qf existence this country is still unahle to supply its own wants and that it is stiil obliged to have recourse to foreign markets, though nature has lavished upon it all the gifts necessary to render it a manufacturing country. . . .
It is a duty, especially for us Canadians of French origin, to create. . . .
Thus far it seems to me that the Government has been moving in the wrong direction. The Government has devoted itself to recruiting an exclusively agricultural immigration-its efforts will end in nothing. The agricultural population of this country will never be increased from outside. . . .
We can, however, introduce here with good results, I think, an industrial immigration. I do not mean simple workmen, but master mechanics and small capitalists such as are to be found in all the cities of Europe.
I remember the time when we had in this country very few manufacturing establishments, especially in the province of Quebec. I remember the days when many of our farmers had to abandon their farms, where they could no longer find subsistence for their families, and leave their native parish. The farms of Quebec at that time were just as fertile, just as productive, as they are to-day; our farmers of those days were just as robust, just as hard workers and as thrifty as the farmers of to-day. But they had no market in which to sell their products. They had to abandon their farms and leave their parish to seek work in the neighbouring republic where industry was properous. The same thing was happening in all the old provinces of the Confederation, and so we lost annually thousands and thousands of the best of our citizens, not immigrants who were only passing through Canada, but good Canadians whose families had lived for generations in our Canadian land.
You are no doubt aware, Mr. Speaker, of the many compliments which have been
paid to the province of Quebec during the last four or five years. I think I know the good old province of Quebec as well as any Canadian, and I say without any hesitation that what has contributed in a very large measure to make our province prosperous and our farmers satisfied with their lot is the fact that our manufactures have su'pplied our farmers with a market where they can sell their product, and what I say for Quebec must be true, and it is true, of every province of this Dominion where there are manufacturing establishments. If that industrial development is due in a measure, and I say it is in a measure due, to our fiscal policy, whether we call our tariff a tariff for revenue or designate it by any other name, it seems to me we have no reason to regret it.