The Address-Mr. Evans
clare that Liberalism stood for liberty, and even the Premier himself declared that the platform of the Liberal party was exactly the same as the platform of the Progressive party, that Liberalism, in fact, stood for progress. Yet this party of liberty and progress has closed up the last gap of liberty that the consumers of this country had left open to them. What pressure was brought to bear between the date of the budget speech, May 23, when the Finance Minister declared that this clause was to be left out as it was an unnecessary interference with trade, and June 22nd, when it was revived by the Minister of Customs? I do not know; but it must have been something worth while that could turn practically the whole Liberal party at one stroke into a body more Tory in its actions than even the Conservative party itself, and quite as amenable to the same influences that dictated that measure in tho first place. Outside of the explanation given by the Minister of Customs at that time, no argument was made in behalf of that clause, except a statement by the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff), who reminded the right hon. leader of the Opposition that they had slaughtered him anyway.
The Tariff Act as it stands is perhaps the most vicious piece of legislation that has ever stood on the statute books of any country in modem times. I question if there is anything quite so complete of its kind anywhere else in the world. As it stands it has closed up the trade activities of one of our largest co-operative companies, and an attempt was made this year to bring the United Farmers of Ontario under its deadly ban. Is this the kind of Liberalism that the Progressive party is invited to join? It is true that two who were with us last year are with us no more, but are now sitting on the other side.
I have no word of reproach for these men, but rather pity, and it is indeed pitiful to think that they have failed to grasp the ideal underlying the formation of the Progressive movement. It is pitiful that after being elected to support Progressive principles, and after sitting for one whole session with us here and in our caucus, they should have failed to realize their obligations to their constituents. They must present a pitiful spectacle to those who elected them.