April 13, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


Joseph Pierre Turcotte


Mr. TURCOTTE (Quebec County).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, at this late hour of the night I do not wish to detain the House very long, but I have promised to my hon. friend from Wentworth (Mr. Sealey) that I would say a few words in support of his remarks. I think that the

time is well chosen, principally fox a member who represents an agricultural county, when a question like this pertaining to agricuture is being considered by this House, and the least he can say is to vindicate the rights of the farmers. It is important that the country should know how the people's representatives look after their interests in the House and after all that pertains to the farm.
We are confronted with the question of principles. We have been discussing tonight theoretically free trade and protection, and naturally both parties took up arms. I don't want to enter on this ground, but if I was obliged to do so I would take side with the Liberal party in favour of free trade, whose battles we have fought for so long a time. We all know the struggles of the Liberal party for the triumph of the free trade principles. These principles have been discussed before the people, and the people had approved them. I think that the constant development of the public wealth in Canada proves that it is in the true interest of the people not to resist to the utmost against the foreign industry because, in the long run, it is the poor people, the large class of consumers who pay the protective duty. These are the people who are paying the toll-gate of the customs. Being so, we believe that it is in the interest of the people that these duties should be the lowest possible. The true theory, the theory adopted by our party, is a revenue tariff, giving the means to administer decently public affairs, and I think we should not go beyond that.
I will, therefore, avoid using the words free trade and protection. I will confine myself to figures that will show a lamentable state of things. The * Yearly Book ' of last year shows us the difference there is between the exportations of Canadian pork to the United States and the importations of American pork into Canada. This is what I have noticed, and which seems to be very extraordinary. During the years 1904-5-6-7, that is five years, we have exported to the United States only 489,757 pounds of pork, which represents a sum of $64,912 during these five years, and we have imported during the same period 34,192,107 pounds, or for the sum of $2,521,436. In the last year, 1907, we have imported from the United States 7,500,848 pounds of pork, representing $615,000. We must remark that these figures cover only the nine months of the fiscal year 1906-7; when we have exported during the same period only 84,518 pounds of pork, representing $13,493. This is an enormous difference. These are facts which indicate that, for one reason or another, the pork which is eaten in Canada or put in tins or transformed into bacon and ham comes for the greatest part from the United States.

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