June 8, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)


If it is the same Mr. Fielding who thus spoke in the Nova Scotia legislature, he is to-day the Finance Minister of Canada. Are all these gentlemen on the Treasury Benches of the same kidney ? Is the Minister of Finance as great a sinner as the Minister of Trade and Commerce and are they all sinners alike 1 Mr. Fielding, referring to the coal trade said :
Referring to the coal trade he said the Liberal party would not preach one doctrine in Cape Breton and another in the rest of the Dominion. If the coal business could not be carried on without protection, then it is better not to carry it on at all. Protection was not a necessity for its welfare ; the coal business is not a pauper business.
You would hardly believe it, Mr. Speaker, that the Mr. Fielding who thus spoke and who pledged himself to free coal, is the man who to-day dictates the fiscal policy of the government which maintains a duty on coal. Again Sir Richard Cartwright said :
Now if there be a principle of political economy clearer than another, it is the principle that the worst tax which could be imposed is a tax on a necessity of life like coal. Moreover it is a tax exceedingly partial and unjust in its operation. It will fall on the poorest classes of the community in the depths of the Canadian winter. It is absolutely sectional, pressing heavily on the people of On-Mr. POPE.
tario, and not at all on the great masses of the people through the other provinces. It will form a standing grievance. It is a most doubtful benefit to Nova Scotia.
Well, Sir, the province of Ontario was not so selfish and so narrow as to endorse this statement. The province of Ontario believes that there should be reciprocity of tariffs between province and province. In view of such language from the gallant knight, and in view of his practices since he came to power, it is no wonder that he is going around to-day alone, looking for a constituency. If he had been consistent in his conrse there would have been at least some one to have gone along with him; there is nothing so faithful as a dog. The robbery which the hon. gentleman spoke of is going on to-day, and it has been going on for eight years, and the hon. gentleman has been approving of it with his vote and his talents. Sir Richard Cartwright, speaking on the Budget on April 26th, 1897, and referring to the preference of 12J per cent which he said was open to all countries, said :
And lastly, what my free trade friends will remember and lay to heart, we have turned the ship's head in the right direction and toward the open sea.
His song then was : now we are under full sail ; we have been in power for one year, we have fifty odd majority who will swallow everything we ask them to swallow, the flag of the Liberal party for free trade is floating, our barque is in full sail with Captain Cartwright on board. But she did not sail far. She struck a rock before she left harbour. I do not know whether there was any of these two cases of rye whisky on board that the Minister of Agriculture furnishes, but whatever the causes may be the ship did not sail far, and yesterday the knight from South Oxford got another slap in the face, what we call a double backer. He had told the country that one of the things that did not deserve protection was the woollen industry ; but yesterday his colleagues wiped- out the preference so far as woollens are concerned and further protected the woollen industry. So to-day the hon. gentleman (Sir Richard Cartwright) gets up in the House to endorse the new condition ; he will endorse any condition that helps out the Cartwright family. I believe the hon. gentleman to be clever, notwithstanding all his faults, notwithstanding the cruelty that has been shown towards him by the party to which he belongs, who haven't the decency to point the open road for him in the future, and notwithstanding the weak character of his speech to-day ; and he must have said to himself as he sat down, thank God I have got even with you for what you did yesterday. Mr. Fielding said :

So far as protecting the industries of this country are concerned, eternal vigilance must be the price of protection.
That is what our Finance Minister said a few years ago. Tq-day he is not satisfied with one tariff or two tariffs, but he wants three tariffs ; and . he is trying to make them subject to the dictation of an autocrat who sits in the government. We shall see about that. We have had various tariffs in this country, but we have never before had a proposition to place in the hands -I will not say of one member of the government, but one citizen of Canada, the right to say what our duties shall be, when they shall be lowered and when they shall be put up. Talk of Russia ! Sir, they know nothing in Russia of the limit of legislation as compared with that of the supposed Liberal party of the Dominion of Canada-men who were supposed to be, if not the fathers of Liberal thought, at least the men expected to perpetuate Liberal principles in Canada. The Finance Minister makes this proposition in face of the fact that he formerly said that one of the absolute necessities of business was stability of the tariff, even at some cost to the industries of the country. He has laid down that principle again and again in parliament ; and here you find him proposing legislation under which you will not know from one week to another what the tariff will be. When the hon. gentleman tries to put this dumping act into effect, he will get into more trouble than the man who tries to run a monkey team in a theatre. Do you think the electors of this country are going to allow any one man to dictate when the tariff shall be changed, put up or put down ? When the people of Canada get acquainted with this proposition of hon. gentlemen opposite it will be known as the dumping tariff, because in my opinion it will dump them out of power. I find that Sir Wilfrid Laurier said :
We will get a treaty with the United States if we can ; and if England objects we will consider her objection. Let Lord Salisbury take care of the interests of England and we will take care of the interests of Canada.
The Liberal party will never cease the agitation until they have finally triumphed and obtained continental freedom of trade.
I do not know what they call a triumph. Perhaps seven or eight years of power is not considered by them as a triumph :
What my hon. friend has said as to my protection proclivities is perfectly true. ^ I do not deny that I have been a protectionist, which I am still.
The policy which we advocate, is the removal of all commercial barriers between this country and the great kindred nation to the south. The Liberal party as long as I have anything to do with it will remain true to the cause until the cause is successful.
Well, Sir, the right hon. gentleman gained power and went to Washington, and came back again ; but he did not bring anything with him except the bills of expenses. The people of this country had the chance of paying $45,000 or $50,000, I forget the amount exactly, but approximately that is correct. The only other benefit we had was that that trip to Washington taught the Prime Minister never to go there again, and he has said on more than one occasion that he was not knocking at that door any more. We are glad to hear that; but that is one of the principles which the Liberal party said they were going to put in force. We have sat in the House and heard the changes rung hour in and hour out that the Conservative party never could get anything from the United States because we did not treat them fairly-because we wanted an alien labour law, or this or that for the Dominion of Canada ;-because we were British in sentiment we could not expect to receive any benefits from the United States. So the right hon. gentleman said : Put us in power. He had never been in power ; he had been only playing politics up to that time. This is what he said :
When the Liberal party comes into power it [DOT]still send commissioners to Washington to propose a mutual agreement by which there will he free trade along the whole line.
It does not occur to him for a moment that his proposition will not be accepted. The new Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the greatest French Canadian, will be going down to Washington. So he went. He said :
There will be free trade along the whole line, doing away with restrictions and removing the customs-houses that go so far to cause friction between the two countries.
What a farce ! Mr. Speaker, the reading of that language and its comparison with the language which these hon. gentlemen have used as an introduction to the present legislation, is alone enough to drive them from power if there were enough thinking people in this country. The right hon. gentleman also said :
If we come to power on that day, I promise you that a commission will go to Washington, and if we can get a treaty in natural products and a list of manufactured articles that treaty will be. made. The policy of the Liberal is to give you a market with sixty-five millions of British men upon this continent.
We have not yet got that market. To show how little these gentlemen knew what they were talking about, and how foreign the responsibility of government was to their thought, we find them now proposing a dumping clause by which they are going to exclude, if they can, these very 65.000,000 people. Such a contradiction of policy was never before presented to any nation on

the face of the earth. They have not learned the lesson yet, Mr. Speaker. He goes on to say :
The Liberal party believe in free trade on broad lines, such as exists in Great Britain ; ani upon that platform, exemplified as I have told you, the Liberal party will fight its next battle.
They fought that battle. They put their faces towards the open sea, and all got on board. I ask you, where is free trade in this country as it is in England to-day ? What did these hon. gentlemen do ? As is well known, the right hon. gentleman went to England. He had the opportunity of his life, in the judgment of people who knew English sentiment at that time. It was previous to the Jubilee, when the whole British empire was looking for something better in the way of British sentiment than we had known in the past. That noble sovereign, Queen Victoria, was to have her great Jubilee.
All the true and honest men of the different parts of the empire-black and white- were to be present to do homage to that great sovereign. Canada, which is one of the brightest spots in the empire and which never cost the empire a farthing, sent over her Prime Minister. That Prime Minister had promised us in London or Hamilton' that the first thing he would do when he went to England would be to treat for reciprocal trade on reciprocal conditions-preference for preference-between Canada and England. Was that promise carried out ? It was not. It was broken like so many others, and what was the excuse ? The excuse given was that this government wished to give England a preference without imposing upon her the bane of protection, which had been a curse to Canada, and also they wished to give it freely as a recognition of the splendid liberty which England had given us. Certainly, Sir, England has given us liberty, but nothing more than the rights which British people enjoy everywhere in this great empire, be they black or white. The Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier stood at the foot of the throne to tell our late beloved Queen how Canada valued British liberty and British connection. But, Sir, there was a time when we were given the opportunity to show our faith and loyalty. That time was when the empire called on all her sons to give the mother country their aid in South Africa. \te had the opportunity then, and we know with what generosity of feeling the First Minister responded to this appeal to protect the British flag. We have not forgotten the stand he took on that occasion.
On the subject of a preference, we found Mr. Fielding indulging in these remarks :
England, which, after a great struggle under Bright and Cobden, has made the people's food free, was asked to turn back the hands of the clock and tax the food of the people. Eng-Mr. POPE.
land was asked again and again to accept this condition ; and just so long as that demand was made, the great journals and leaders of thought in England scoffed at preferential trade of that kind.
Well, Mr. Speaker, time has gone on and the hands of the clock were not turned back, but have gone on ticking every day from that time to this. And every day the strength of the position taken by us, not from a selfish standpoint, but from the best standpoint in the world, the strengthening of the empire, has become more apparent. Anything that strengthens Canada strengthens the empire in its most vital part. We are a highly intelligent people as compared with other people, in the world. Consequently the more of us there are in this country, the stronger will be the British empire, and the nearer to the very heart of the empire will be a people prepared to live and die for the perpetuation of British institutions. Any act, commercial or otherwise, that strengthens Canada strengthens the empire just as much as if it were strengthening the empire in London-aye, more, because we have fresh air and plenty of space and opportunity in this country for the application of men's ingenuity. And we have hope in the future of Canada. Yes, we had that hope when this country was being painted black by the oracle of hon. gentleman opposite who addressed the House this afternoon. Under those circumstances, the clock has gone on keeping time, and we have witnessed the departure from the British cabinet of one of the most able of British statesmen, Mr. Chamberlain, who has taken up this same fight, not for us alone but for all the empire, and the ground upon which he stands is no selfish, narrow, contracted ground, but broad and generous, and his policy, if carried out, will do more tor the development and prosperity of this country than all the legislation this government has passed or can ever hope to pass. It means the entry of our agricultural and lumber and the other products we send to Great Britain, into the British market under a system of preference. Hon. gentlemen opposite have adopted certain principles of protection in this country. Why should they object to the adoption of a system in England which will protect us in the very market where our goods have to be sold ? The greater price we are paid for our products, the greater value is added to every acre of land in this country. And in no part of the Dominion will greater benefit be experienced from the adoption of Mr. Chamberlain's policy than in its eastern portion. Our eastern provinces cannot compete with the great west in the raising of grain, but in the manufacture of dairy products and the fine qualities of beef, mutton and bacon, we can hold our own, and if given protection in the British market, we could distance all competitors.

Yesterday was an important Hay, as is always that on which the annual statement is made of the finances of Canada, and as time rolls on and our population increases, that day becomes more important. There may have been a few people pleased with yesterday's statement because there were some changes in the tariff, but in my judgment there were many more who were disappointed. And if you take all those to whom that speech was addressed, you will find that not one in twenty-five understands what the tariff really means. I am competent there are not ten men on that side who can tell you how that tariff, which was brought down yesterday, really will affect the trade of this country. Still, when the Finance Minister got up and said: behold this splendid combination tariff that I have created,' there was tremendous applause on the other side, and from none did that ap-lause come more fervently than from those tvho did not understand what it meant. We know that it has a disturbing element. It has a disturbing element because we cannot have a law hanging over every man's head whereby he may be compelled to pay a special duty in addition to the ordinary duty, under certain conditions, without its having a prejudicial effect on trade conditions. But that is not all. Protection as understood by hon. gentlemen on this side, means but one thing, but as expressed in the resolutions moved by the leader of the opposition on more than one occasion. Our national policy takes in all the great natural resources of this country. It embodies a great constructive principle which can be applied in the tariff for the upbuilding of the nation. But when we take up the policy of hon. gentlemen opposite, we find it an unknown quantity. It may be one thing to-day and something else to-morrow.
You will never develop the great resources of Canada with any such fluctuating tariff as hon. gentlemen opposite are now proposing. I agree with the Minister of Finance that a fixed tariff is essential to the prosperity and advancement of the country. I take him at his word. He did not much improve the tariff last year. But he dared not go twelve months longer under the tariff we had. In order to avoid the difficulties which faced him last year, he did improve his fiscal policy then somewhat, by proposing bounties on silver-lead and on iron. But he dare not now come down and say : I am a protectionist, because he has been talking free trade. And so you have an exhibition of a government, a set of men acting together jfor party purposes and personal gain who cannot, announce any principle, who cannot lay down any rule of broad minded legislation that they can undertake to follow. I do not know what would have been the result if we had here the government we had seven years ago. Because, Mr. Speaker, there has been a great change in the personnel of the government. It was said to be a strong government, because it contained Mr. Tarte, because it contained Mr. Blair, because it contained Sir Oliver Mowat, Sir Louis Davies, Mr. Geoffrion, Mr. Dobell, Hon. Mr. Mills and Sir Henri Joly. These men are all gone. And whom have we in their places ? Read the history of Canada and you learn nothing of their names. A record of municipal politics might enable you to trace them, but you do not find their names in the national history of Canada. Whether, with the old cabinet we would have had this bulldozing in the trade relations,
I do not know. Whether we would have had these half-hearted changes, I do not know. But I do not believe we would. I believe that they would have made such an impression upon the Prime Minister, that they would have bolstered his courage sufficiently, that he would have come forward and said : I am now for the national policy, because the principles of the opposition in this House are the only principles by which Canada can be successfully and well governed : I forsake the pathway of the past ; I apologize to Canada, and I am now the head of a strong protectionist government. But we have now an administration of weaklings, the successors of the strong men of earlier days. And so we must accept vacillating legislation, doubtful legislation, legislation in which we find no vestige of principle, while the Conservative party stands for principle as a unit. We know how difficult' it is, even when men are agreed upon a principle, to lay it down sufficiently strong to make it work out to the development of the country's resources, to overcome local prejudices and feelings of provincialism that exist to a greater or less extent everywhere. Even if the Prime Minister and his party were united, it would be difficult enough to bring down legislation to upbuild Canada as she should be upbuilt. But when you have a party made up of here a free trader, there a low protectionist, there a high protectionist, and the other fellow nothing at all, it is impossible to get, through such an aggregation, a straightforward policy based upon sound principle.
The Finance Minister yesterday consoled himself with the fact that we are having pretty good times; not quite so good as they 'were a while ago ; they are beginning to pinch here and there a little. He mentioned one or two industries that were very promising in different parts of Canada and I suppose he thought he had knocked the. last spots of the sun, by the changes in the tariff that he now proposes. But let him look at Sydney and the condition of the industries there and read the quotations. Let him look at the Soo and the industries there. Let him look at the cotton industry, look at the price of butter and cheese : let him look where he will and see if he cannot find a few spots still left. If there is an industry in Canada that should be in

a most flourishing condition, it is the pulp industry, of which I will speak of later on. The Minister of Finance is beginning to realize, as everybody else is realizing, that we are beginning to feel the effect of competition from abroad. Why, Sir, to look at the trade figures alone is quite sufficient. Take our total exports $214,000,000,-and our total imports-$224,000,000. There you have a balance of trade against us for 1903 of $10,410,000, exclusive of coin and bullion. Sir, we are a young nation, with lots of energy, with plenty of raw material, great fwater powers and Immense possibilities, and what we want is men and money, and especially money, in order to develop these great resources. A tariff that gives us at the end of the year $10,000,000 less money as a result of our trade than we had at the beginning is not a tariff that tends to the develpment of Canada. If the Prime Minister discovers that we have too much money, that we are too wealthy, that we have money to give to the United States or Germany more than they give to us, instead of keeping it at home, his policy is a right one. But if Canada needs money, his policy is wrong, because the figures show that we are $10,000,000 worse off at the end of the year than we were at the beginning. During the by-election in Montreal the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) made a speech on this subject. He said : Look at the volume of trade-four hundred odd million. True, more than half that is against us, or is money that we are sending away, but, at the same time, there is the volume of trade. According to that,, a man whose wage is $1.25 a day and his exxienditure is 75 cents a day would have a total volume of trade of only $2. But if you take a man whose earnings are $1.25 a day and whose expenditure is $1.50 a day you have one whose total volume of trade is $2.75-and this man, according to the Prime Minister, would be growing rich. If we were an old, completed nation, with a number of people living in luxury, following the hounds across country spending their time as ladies and gentlemen do in great centres, all this would be very well. - But you are legislating for a different kind of nation altogether. We are a bee hive ; we have to work, we are a comparatively poor people ; our history is comparatively a short one, and every man should work, word, work ;-that is the way to build up the country ; and every man should have protection for his industry and his labour. You cannot expect much good from the policy of a man who lays down the principle that the volume of trade is an indication of a nation's wealth. When our policy proceeds on that theory you may look for hard times before very long.
I have shown that the balance of trade is $10,000,000 against us. Let us look at Mr. POPE.
some of the details. In 1903 our exports to Great Britain amounted to $125,000,000. Our imports from Great Britain amounted to $57,793,000. That left a balance of trade in our favour as between ourselves and Great Britain of $67,000,000. For the year previous, 1902, the balance in our favour on our trade with Great Britain was $68,000,000. But now, if you take the figures of our trade with the United States of America you will find that our imports were $128,t 000,000 while our exports to the United States were $49,000,000, leaving a balance against us for 1903 of $79,000,000 in our trade with the United States. What we ship to Great Britain are our great agricultural products mainly. We ship, probably $100,000,000 of grain, animals and their products and other products of our farms.
It comes back to Canada, the policy of the hon. gentleman has been that when this 867,000,000 got back here they would no(^ keep it here to furnish employment for the people and encourage industries in this country where possible, but to send every dollar of that to the United States to pay for industrial life in the United States. You cannot upbuild Canada on these lines.; its an absolute Impossibility. Wlien we have the money in our own hands, why do we not legislate to keep it in our own hands, by giving prosperity, by giving profitable investment V You will find in the United States that the old farmers on the flats of the Connecticut river and other valleys' invest money in the bonds of railways and enterprises of all sorts in the United States. Their surplus, money is not sent to us, but is invested in their own country, and_ by following a policy of that kind for nearly a century they have built up the greatest nation on the face of God's earth to-day. They are adopting the same policy on the southern part of the continent of America, and does it require much argument to show that it must ultimately be adopted here if we want to upbuild this country ? We have the opportunity if we seize it; but it will not be by allowing the balance of trade to be as it is to-day, $75,000,000 against us, and going from bad to worse year after year while the hon. gentlemen have been in power.
Now they propose a dumping policy. I want to know Where they are going to begin to dump. The right hon. gentleman must 'be with me in saying that any policy adopted should be one that we can understand, and that laws should be such that a lawyer could understand and define them. The legislatiion now proposed no man can understand. You have a dumping axe, or whatever you like to call it, that comes down at 15 or 50 per cent, but can the right hon. gentleman tell me when dumping is going on V I would like to ask him how he is going to find out when dumping is going on V Let us take, for example, the case of ani-

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