Exactly, they have it, but the very moment the government would attempt to impose a duty on coal, Ontario would go into revolt. It does not surprise me at all to find hon. gentlemen getting up from their seats when their political duplicity is exposed.
I want to refer to a few other statements of the financial critic of the opposition. The other day when he was delivering what I am satisfied to call a very good speech from the standpoint of the opposition, but one of the most inconsistent speeches that I have ever heard fall from the lips of any public man; when he was making his argument on the financial condition of Canada as reported in the budget speech, I happened to smile. I did not think it was any offence to smile while I occupied my seat in the house, but immediately the financial critic of the opposition threw across the floor of the house the question: "Why is the Postmaster General smiling? He has shown complete ignorance of the financial conditions of Canada." That was because I smiled. After this I suppose members on the government side of the house will have to go on their bended knees to ask hon. gentlemen opposite, especially those in the front seats, whether we may smile or laugh. I want to say to the hon. member for South Wellington that there was a reason for my smiling; it was because of the way he was handling the finances of the Dominion of Canada in direct opposition to the way in which he handled them and to the principles he applied in years gone by. Conditions have not changed from what they were in 1916 and 1917 when I, as a Liberal, was wont and proud to follow the arguments and to accept the principles of my hon. friend. If he was right then, he is wrong now, and if he is right now he was wrong then; and he led many Liberals in Ontario and other parts of the Dominion astray by the principles he laid down at that time. He is on the horns of a dilemma, and he cannot very well extract himself from either.
But there was another reason why I smiled at the expense of my hon. friend, and I am going to refer to it. For instance, dealing with the tariff, he laid down the principle that for the benefit of Canada we should have a high tariff, or a tariff higher than we have to-day; that that was the only salvation for Canada, the only solution of our present financial or economic ills. And my mind ran back to those days when I, with other Liberals, travelled many long miles to hear the eloquent voice of the member for South Wellington laying
The Budget-Mr. Veniot
down the principle that you must have free trade in Canada, especially in certain commodities.
Permit me, Mr. Speaker, to quote the hon. gentleman, and to ask if his stand then is consistent with his stand at the present time. In 1914 a debate took place in the house on the question of tariff. The Prime Minister of the Dominion at that time was pleading that if we admitted farm implements duty free into Canada, the great combines in the United States that were controlling the farm implements in that country would swamp Canada and put our manufacturers of farm implements out of business. On page 1567 of the Hansard of 1914, the hon. member for South Wellington said:
There is a free market in Great Britain, and the trusts and the combines, the tremendous organizations which manufacture agricultural implements in the United States, meet in the free market of Great Britain the manufacturers of Canada, and Canada holds her own.
Of course, Canada can hold its own. Canada has always held it own, especially under the tariff laid down by the present government. And then he goes on:
I desire in a few words to show that the removal, the entire abolition of the Canadian duties on agricultural implements, would not do an injustice to a single manufacturing establishment in Canada.
I should like, Mr. Speaker, to have an explanation from the hon. gentleman. Perhaps he has had a change of heart. I should like to know why that change of heart came about in respect to those questions, his views on which I-older, I think, than he is in age, but perhaps not in politics-was so proud to follow when he laid down that principle in the statement I have just read.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE