March 20, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)


ber, coming into the House for the first time, and as a Canadian, I am proud to say that the policy of the Liberal Conservative party as enunciated by the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax) in this House, is the policy of the forefathers of this country. But the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Iiichard Cartwright) ventured to lay upon the Table of the House, and the Table is now covered with them, returns in respect to the census ten years old. Away back in 1891 he made a very long reference to the census returns. I would like to lay on the Table also another statement which is a little more up to date for the consideration of the government and particularly for the consideration of the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce. Whatever discussion and public opinion there may be as to the correct taking of the census in 1891, I would remind that hon. gentleman, and I do it with no pleasure, because the Liberal Conservative party do not wish to state upon the floor of this House with any measure of gratitude that the population of this country is decreasing, and although there is a great deal said upon the other side of the House as to the splendid prosperity that the people of Canada are enjoying, as I have said, I would remind him that the census taken last year proves that the population, at least, in many of the central counties of Ontario, is fast decreasing. Let me give the hon. gentleman his own riding of South Oxford. It had a population in 1891 of 22,421. Under this wonderful prosperity that we have had for five years under this new government, the population has gone down until last year it was 21,797, or a loss of 624 of the population of the county that the hon. gentleman represents himself. Then, North Oxford, the riding which the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Mr. Sutherland) represents, has lost in population in 10 years 773 souls. South Ontario has lost-I will not weary the House with the figures. Halton has lost in population 2,409, Lennox 1,478, East Lambton 1,221, Kingston, the old city where the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce resides, 1,220, West Huron 1.243, South Huron 1,722, East Huron 1,599, North Lanark 1,086, West Lambton 1,427, Peel county 1,780, South Perth 1,523, Centre Wellington 2.824. North Wellington 1,156, North York, lying alongside of the great city of Toronto 1,497, Prince Edward county 1,025, making in all of these central counties a loss from 1891 down to 1901 of 28,469. That would be a document also to be laid on the Table that would be a little more up to date and would be worth the consideration of hon. gentlemen who are talking so much about the prosperity of this country.
But, now, Mr. Speaker, I desire to say that the Liberal Conservative party are just as anxious as the great Liberal party of

this country that Canada should he prosperous. In the county I have the honour to represent we have been contributing to the prosperity of Canada like other counties. If we have a large measure of prosperity, as I think we have at the present moment, I wish to say that in that county, in the town of Brampton, Ont., we have the largest cut flower business in the Dominion of Canada, and the third largest on the continent of America known as the Dale Estate. The present manager being Mr. T. W. Duggan. That business has now fifty greenhouses with 300,000 square feet of glass, covering 71 acres. The largest houses are 840 feet long, and tne firm are now erecting 21 new houses. When these are completed at the close of this year, there will be 70 greenhouses, covering about 10 acres of land, and having a total area of glass of 400,000 square feet. This institution is three times larger than the next largest in Canada, which is Dunlop's, of the city of Toronto, and the firm employ from 50 to 70 hands, all men who are paid large wages. The output consists of roses, carnations, violets, chrysanthemums and smilax, and a portion of it is exported from the country to the cities of Chicago, Detroit, Rochester, New York and other large centres of the United States. The gentleman who inaugurated this great institution, Mr. Harry Dale, some twenty years ago, saw a future for Canada, and although he was cut off in the very midst of the development of this rose and cut flower industry, it is still growing, and I am delighted to be able to say that last year the output of cut flowers from that institution was $05,000 and that 90 per cent of that $05,000 was sent to the different centres and cities throughout the Dominion of Canada. So that the old story that Canada is the land of snows must be set aside because we are fast becoming a land of roses and cut flowers.
There has been a great deal of talk in this House and in the country in respect to the national debt. I wish to make a brief statement in respect to this question. The national debt stands to-day at $268,480,000, leaving out the odd cents. That leaves a net debt upon every man, woman and child in Canada of $50. We are paying, or we did pay last year, in interest upon this enormous debt, $10,800,000. What does that mean? It means that there is due out of the treasury of this country at the close of each day $29,250 to pay the interest upon this enormous national debt. That means that every hour that we are sitting here and every hour from the commencement of the year until the close of the year, including Sundays, there is due out of the treasury of Canada $1,218 to pay the interest on the national debt. Whatever may be in the reports and statements made by hon. gentlemen on the floor of this House as to the prosperity of Canada, I say that it should
be a note of warning to us when we are paying over $10,000,000 simply for the interest upon this enormous national debt. We have had a great many statements from hon. gentlemen opposite about this great national debt and we had a great many promises from them when they were in opposition. Let me quote the hon. Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson), page 709 ' Hansard ' of 1893, when these hon. gentlemen were in opposition. That hon. gentleman said :
Where is the statesmanship of these men who said that they could hold the expenditure to that amount, and have allowed it to increase until it has reached the enormous sum of $36,000,000 ?
Perhaps I ought to read it up to date, and let me read it to this hon. gentleman and. say to the hon. gentleman himself and the members of the cabinet: Where is the statesmanship of these men who said they could hold the expenditure to that amount, and have allowed it to increase until it has reached the enormous sum of not $36,000,000 a year, but in the neighbourhood of $55,000,000 a year ? I suppose that it is well we should remind the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Paterson) of some of his old promises in connection with that matter.
The members of the Reform party in this House are constantly making the statement here that the tariff is highly satisfactory, and as an evidence of that they point to the increase of revenue we are receiving, and to the great trade that is going on in the country. I wish to say, Mr. Speaker, that so far as I am concerned my opinion is that the present tariff is not at all satisfactory to the people of Canada. Let me give a few examples to account for the faith that is in me in this respect. When the people of Canada wish to send wheat to the United States-and we grow more wheat than we can use in our own country- when we wish to send a bushel of wheat into the United States, we are met with "a duty of 25 cents a bushel, while the Canadian duty is only 12 cents a bushel if the American wants to send his wheat in here. On oats the American tariff is 15 cents a bushel and the Canadian tariff is only 10 cents a bushel. On barley the American tariff is 30 cents a bushel, while the Canadian tariff is only 30 per cent, or 12 cents per bushel. On pease the American tariff is 40 cents, while the Canadian tariff is only 10 cents a bushel. On hay the American tariff is $4 per ton, and the Canadian tariff $2 per ton. On apples the American tariff is 75 cents a barrel, and the Canadian tariff only 40 cents. On potatoes, the American tariff is 25 cents a bushel, and the Canadian tariff 15 cents per bushel. On beans, the American tariff is 45 cents per bushel, and the Canadian tariff 15 cents per bushel. On butter, the American tariff is 0 cents per pound, and the Canadian

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