February 28, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)


Hon. SYDNEY FISHER (Minister of Agriculture).

Mr. Chairman, I venture, before undertaking to present some facts and observations in regard to this reciprocity arrangement to say a few words of introduction in reply to my hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Sifton). Let me at once accord to him my meed of praise for the manner in which he has presented his views to the House. It is only what we might expect from his experience, his ability and his position. I value political allegiance and party feeling as much as he does. I appreciate the fact that party feeling must not be allowed to carry one down to the point where, on important questions, one differs with one's party ; and I say frankly to him that if he differs with the government on this question, it was not only his right but his duty to come before the House and the country and declare that difference. Sir, I am not myself in the same position, because I believe that, in this arrangement with the United States, the government of the day have continued and carried on that wise and careful administration of the tariff of Canada which has characterized their work since their first tariff legislation in 1897. But did I agree with my hon. friend from Brandon, I would leave the government of which I am a member-

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