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


Fletcher Bath Wade


Mr. F. B. WADE (Annapolis).

Mr. Speaker, I feel at this period of the debate that I owe the House an apology for rising to my feet to take part in the discussion ; but, Sir, the matters that have been placed before the House, the questions that have been raised and the issues that have been provoked are of such a nature that I feel that I cannot, in justice to the constituency I have tlie honour to represent, remain entirely quiet. I fear, however, that a great disappointment is in store for the House, after listening to the able speech which has just been delivered. I fear that I shall not be able to engage the attention of the House for half the time the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat has done. Neither must you expect me, in view of my proportions, to float on the sunbeams or waltz on the rainbows as he has done ; but I shall have to keep myself upon terra firma. There are some sentences in his speech which have disappointed me. You know I am a bit of an optimist. I look with confidence at the great prosperity of Canada. I thought that we were now on the crest of the wave, and that it was going to continue. But I find that I was all wrong. I find that there will be no prosperity in the Dominion of Canada until the great Liberal-Conservative party has again come into power ; and then I sigh to myself and say, ' How long, electors, oh, how long will this great hour delay ? ' Royalty in England the other day commanded Britons to awake, and yet they slumbered on ; the even tenor of their way was not disturbed. But, Sir, the stentorian voice of the hon. member for South Simcoe

(Mr. Lennox) has commanded Britons to awake ; and I dare to prophesy that a wave of insomnia will spread over that land which will enhance the price of narcotics twofold. I am glad to know that the hon. gentleman has been content with exterminating the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir Richard Cartwright) the giant of Guysborough (Mr. Fraser), and the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton). It is true he did not quite demolish the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, but he left history to complete the job ; the gigantic form of the hon. member for Guysborough has shrunken to mean proportions ; while the hon. member for North Norfolk is on his knees crawling across the House, aud begging for admission to the ranks of the opposition.
It would be presumption on my part to endeavour to follow the line of argument of the hon. gentleman who has preceded me. Therefore, I will try to address myself in a quiet way to matters which I conceive to be of interest, not only to my constituents, but to the country at large. There is a sharp and clear issue before the House. I cannot say that it is raised by the resolution which has been moved by the hon. leader of the opposition ; but certainly it has been presented to us by hon. gentlemen on each side of the House. That issuse is : Shall there-or shall there not-be a greater measure of protection in the Dominion of Canada ? Protection, as I understand it, and as I believe the country understands it, and as I believe everybody will admit, is protection for the manufacturers. Now, Sir, in all well-considered measures that" may be presented by a government, or passed by parliament, the underlying principle is that the greatest amount of good shall be accomplished to the greatest number of people, and the least possible harm shall be done. Taking that as the platform from which we must consider this question, it is well for us to consider how many people are interested in this question on the one side or the other-how many are manufacturers, and how many are found in other occupations and other conditions of life ? I have been at some pains to get some data on this point. I have been examining the census of 1891, which I have been told and led to believe is not quite reliable. I find myself unable from that census to ascertain the exact number of the different trades and industries, because they have not been grouped ; but I have obtained sufficient data for my argument. There are 1,659,355 represented as being persons having an occupation. Of these 790,210 are agriculturists, fishermen, and miners. Domestic and personal servants are 246,183, those in manufacturing and mechanical industries are 320,001; profesions, 63,280 ; trade and transportation, 186,695 ; non-productive, 52,986 ; or a total of 1,659,355. But I wish to draw the attention of the House to the fact that

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