April 7, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)

CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

of German trade and the utterances of German statesmen, he continues :
The time has undoubtedly come when we shall have to reconsider our attitude towards our foreign industrial competitors, our fellow subjects beyond the seas, and our whole commercial policy as well. Economic and political reasons render a change indispensable; from the insular no less than the imperial point of view a radical reform seems called for. And even military considerations bear out this conclusion; for we began by sacrificing our agriculture, the source oi our food supplies in war time, for the purpose of futhering our industry, and now we are offering np onr industry at the shrine of a theory which is no longer tenable.
I also refer to a line or two from an article on the Outlook of British Commerce in the ' Empire Review.' The writer deals with an article that was published by Mr. Carnegie. He says :
Need we despair then, because our political ideals have not yet so completely matured as to enable the stupendous resources we command to be systematically organized and methodically developed ? The personal element, Mr. Carnegie states we still enjoy, the 'dogged endurance,' 'the ambition to excel,' 'the will, to do or die.' Possessing these supreme qualities and controlling some -100 millions of people inhabiting nearly one fourth of the land surface of the glebe, with every physical advantage and geograph cal opportunity that man can desire, so tar from being pessimists, we ought to feel and understand that both in the matter of numbers and natural resources we hold all the winning cards in the great game for commercial supremacy. It only remains to decide how we must play them.
Then he goes on ;
This in itself would be a source of congral il lation to us were it not for the fact that our accumulative powers as a nation are now being attacked. The industrial armies of the United States are accumulating wealth more rapidly than we, and consequently the time must very shortly arrive when their bankers and financiers will be able to undersell us just as their producers and manufacturers have already done.
How then are we to protect ourselves ? Obviously by the same means that have been employed to raise the states of the American Union to their present magnificent position. Whilst the 'forty-five countries' of America have joined forces, established free trade amongst themselves, and thereby created a compact industrial army of immense strength, the fifty odd countries, colonies and dependencies which make up the British empire-with a population and territory of far greater magnitude than the United States,-are not only disunited in their political and commercial principles, but they are actually in many respects working against each other, and thereby making the way for the ecmmercial and political ascendency of our more powerful neighbours. It is to the question of 'national unity' that we must turn our attention, a unity first of trade principle, which will prevent the sacrifice of our own commerce and that of some of our dependencies and colonies to a theory which, however advantageous when originally introduced, is unquestionably out of date and injurious when considered in relation to the developments In transport, production, and international state-aided competition with which we p.re now face to-face. Un-Mr. LENNOX.
qualified free trade is not only misleading as a theory, but is, when considered from the political standpoint, a mischievous and dangerous principle which we cannot too quickly abandon if we desire to hold our own.
Then, he sums up in this way :
I do not think

.
Referring to Mr. Carnegie :

we need disturb ourselves much about
the loss of prestige, for just as a short rest enables the exhausted frame to quickly regain its accustcmed strength, so will a period of peace and prosperity restore power and confidence to the holders of British stock; hut the question of our stationary commerce is a more serious matter, and one of those unpalatable facts which it seems impossible to explain away. The other great nations of the earth are rapidly overtaking ua in the volume of commodities-raw and manufactured

which their enormous territories and expanding populations enable them to so readily produce. And if we are to hold our own in the great struggle for possession of the world's markets now in progress, we must thiuk how we can augument the land, labour, and natural resources at our disposal. Impossible as this may seem at first glance, a moments consideration at once opens our eyes to Great Britain's coming strength-our colonies. When will the dwellers in the motherland understand that their brothers beyond the seas, are not only strong in all they require, but are anxious and proud to place that strength at the disposal of the empire ?
That, this government has sacrificed our interests by the policy of preferential trade, making us less able to give something in return for concessions we might receive, is evident to any reasonable mind. That this government has postponed the accomplishment of that commercial unity of the empire which is to be the grandest achievement of this) century, is also perfectly evident. Did Australia made a jug-handled bargain for trade with Great Britain ? Not at all. Is there a doubt about the loyalty of the Australians ? The history of recent years refutes that suggestion. When the Australians came to deal with Great Britain they dealt upon a business basis idle men, and they would not sacrifice their rights. I charge that no government has the right to give away a dollar of the money of the people. That money in the hands of the government is a sacred trust. And when you come to give it, not to Britain or to the empire, but to British manufacturers, then I say that kindness begins at. home, and it is the duty of patriotic Canadians to think of their own country. I condemn this government directly and squarely for their action with regard to the preferential duty. When we adopted confederation we made a step towards the unity of the empire, and as Mr. Chamberlain has said, we laid the foundation for confederation in Australia which is again a stepping stone towards the unity of the whole empire. But when this government introduced its preferential trade principle they took a retrograde movement, because they put a stumbling

block in the way of mutual trade concessions within the empire, and they delayed if that be possible the realization of that great hope. I do not know that I will weary the House further reading extracts, although I have a long array of matters that I believe would be reasonably improving to the members of the government. 1 would judge from their dumbness; from what lawyers call, the studied silence with ' malice aforethought ', that they have not been studying up these great questions or else they would be prepared to enlighten public opinion. Are they the leaders of this country or not 1

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Full View