March 8, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)



These treaties are tariff legislation as affecting relations with these countries, with which they are made. I will go further -and call my hon. friend's attention to a treaty which was negotiated by Mr. Cobden, in 1863, between England and France, and which certainly affected the wine duties of England. It was negotiated just as this was, secretly- if you choose to call it so-and brought to the parliament of Great Britain and by that parliament ratified. We have even heard in this debate of the treaty of 1854, which was accepted unanimously by the parliament of Canada. Was this treaty negotiated by Lord Elgin and Mr. Hincks in any manner different from this arrangement which was made by my horn. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) and my hon. friend the Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson). The procedure was exactly the same. In the face of these historical facts, whichuafeTnown" to "every-schoolboy, it is idle to say that we are introducing any new departure in constitutional government. And I am reminded by my hon. friend the Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) of a case which applies, if possible, even more directly. My hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster), when he .was acting Prime Minister, was one of those who ratified a treaty which had been negotiated by Sir Charles Tupper, in secret-to use the _ words of hon. gentlemen opposite-with the French government.

Subtopic:   P. C. KNOX,
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