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


Fletcher Bath Wade



Some hon. gentlemen cheer this. Well, I will pause to hear whether they will say ' hear, hear ' after I have made a few remarks further on this point. I would like to know how the hon. the leader of the opposition proposes to protect the interests of the farmer. I am speaking now more particularly with regard to the farmers of the maritime provinces, because I am more familiar with their conditions than with

those of the farmers of the western provinces. I would like to understand how my hon. friend proposes to protect the interests of the farmers of the maritime provinces or of our miners, lumbermen or fishermen. I make bold to say that in the whole tariff list there is but one solitary item which has the slightest bearing upon the interests of the farmers down by the sea. I refer to the item of hams and bacon. Prince Edward Island, to a considerable extent, and New Brunswick, to a smaller extent, do produce hams and bacons, and the duties upon these articles may afford them some satisfaction, but leaving these products aside, and taking all the other agricultural articles, I defy any gentleman opposite to show how our farmers in the eastern provinces are benefited by the tariff in the slightest degree.
I have here a list of all the dutiable articles of farm produce. I have gone through the tariff as carefully as possiDle( and will read the result, though, of course, I may possibly have omitted something. That list comprises :
Animals, except for improvement of stock ; live hogs, bacons, hams and shoulders, beans, salt beef, butter, cheese, cider, cracked corn and *wheat, cranberries, plums and quinces, cucumbers, dried vegetables, eggs, flour and meal, fowls, fruit (raspberries), other berries, bay, meats, milk foods, pickles, potatoes, sheepskins.
That is the list. Take the lower provinces, the only competition which the farmer of Nova Scotia to-day has to meet is the competition of the Prince Edward Islander who comes there with ham, bacon, turnips, potatoes and oats, and sells huge quantities of them and the Ontario farmer whose butter, cheese, beef, mutton and lamb and poultry come to ns in striking competition. These are the only people we have to compete with ; there is no competition from the ^outside at all. Who ever heard of such a "thing in the maritime provinces as the importation of any of these articles from the United States, or any other foreign country?
Then I come to the miners. Will some hon. gentleman on the other side he good enough to inform me where the miner is protected ? Every article that enters into his daily consumption is taxed, and taxed heavily, and there is not a solitary thing which he can produce which can be protected beyond those we have on the tariff at present.
But before leaving the farmers, let me refer for a moment to something an hon. and very fair minded gentleman on the other side said during this debate. He said that we had given protection to the farmers because we had not repealed these duties. Why, in the name of all that is reasonnable, if there be any stray corners in the Dominion- and I presume there are some in Ontario and New Brunswick and iji Prince Edward Island, as I have said-where the farmers draw some measure of comfort from our tariff should we withdraw from these farmers consideration ? Must we take that from them and give them nothing in return ? Is it only the interests of the manufacturers that are to be considered ? That idea I contend is not a good one.
The same remark applies to the fishermen and the day labourers and to other walks in life.
We are told that we must prevent Canada being made a slaughter market for American manufacturers. Well, this with us down in Nova Scotia is a tender point. It was prophesied when the scheme of confederation was first mooted, that its effect would be to destroy our infant manufactures. The result has verified that prophesy, because the larger manufacturers of Ontario and Quebec came down to Nova Sco'tia with their goods and under sold our men, and the result was that nearly every factory in Nova Scotia was closed up. Nor did the competition stop there. Nearly the whole of our wholesale dry goods business was closed up by the fact that the larger houses in Ontario and Quebec doing an,' immense business, were able to come down there and under-sell our men and force them to close their doors. Any man within the sound of my voice, who is at all familiar with the conditions in Nova Scotia, knows what I say to be true, knows that we were obliged, in consequence of the union with these other provinces, to almost entirely change our conditions of life. We did do so. We have changed them, and we are now upon another sound basis and prepared to stand by things as they are.
But there is one idea that suggests itself to my mind with regard to this slaughter market, and which I have never heard come from hon. gentlemen on the other side. Suppose I am correct in my statement that 85 per cent to 90 per cent of the population of Canada are non-manufacturers, and suppose that they are correct in their statement that American manufacturers are making a slaughter market of the Dominion, that the Americans are selling here hundreds of millions of dollars worth of manufactured goods at slaughter prices, is it not self-evident that 85 per cent to 90 per cent of the people of Canada are consequently getting the goods cheaper than do the American people, living in the country where they are manufactured ? I think that idea is commencing to dawn upon the American public. I believe they now begin to see that the very goods that are sold in Canada for a certain figure they are obliged to buy at a largely advanced price. In other words, the manufacturers of the United States who have been able to build this tariff wall ; have been able to say : ' This territory is ours, and we may charge such prices as we see fit, and then we will go into the markets of the world, and, having the advantage of wresting from our own people these extravagant prices to place ourselves in a position to compete upon more advantageous terms with the outside world.'

Take the matter of locomotives ; take the matter of steel bridges; of steel rails or railway cars. These are being sold by the United States manufacturers in Spain, in Egypt, in India, and in other foreign markets ; and I undertake to say that the manufacturers are selling these goods in those markets at lower prices than they are selling them at in their own market. Let me give another illustration of the working of this high tariff. Cross Lake Huron from the Ontario side, and what do you see ? You see Canadian lumber going in there and paying a duty of $2 a thousand feet, and selling at the same price as the American article. It is bought by the Standard Oil Company. In their great works they are using I do not know how many millions of feet every year, making it into boxes for the shipment of their products to all parts of the world. Why do they use Canadian lumber ? Because when they ship out this lumber thus made into boxes, they receive a rebate of 90 per cent of duty paid, or $1.80 per thousand, giving them just that much advantage. Who, then, gets the advantage of this high tariff wall ? The great monopolists, such as the Standard Oil Company, are the parties who reap the benefit of it. Not only the Standard Oil Company, but other large manufacturers are using enormous quantities of Canadian lumber and getting the rebate in this way. I only mention this to illustrate the fact that the people are being deceived by this idea of high protection. It is not the producer who is always benefited; it is not the consumer who is always injured, provided that that consumer is a big corporation that can control its affairs in the manner I have indicated,
I do not intend to weary the House by speaking on this question. But I think it is my duty to say this, and to say it forcibly, that, while there are differences of opinion on this side as to what should be the exact tariff, there, are all interests represented here. There are men representing constituencies who would be delighted to have certain industries protected; there are men who would like to have the broadest measure of free trade. And all have a perfect right to stanp here and urge, each one, the interest of the constituency he represents with the utmost vigour. But, I am thankful to say that, on this side of the House, we have a body of men who are willing to ' give and take,' and we are all united upon a tariff which will result in the greatest measure of good to all. There is no man to-day who says that Canada can have absolute free trade. We know that a revenue must be raised, and we know that that revenue can only be raised-or ought only to be raised, that is, it is better that it should be raised-by a tariff. Therefore, it is our duty to meet and agree upon <such a tariff as will accomplish this result, and that we have done. Nowj gentlemen, on
Mr. "JVADE. ,
the other side say that we have falsified our promises.
An lion. MEMBER. Hear, hear.

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