March 18, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


Let the hon. Postmaster read it. Here is the translation :
They must fight their opponents with their own weapons. He could not understand why Canadians were obliged to give markets to a people who raised barriers against them. He had been accused of being an inconsistent man, Mr. Tarte went on. He did not care, so long as he was regarded as a practical man. 'Down with theories ; theories are no good. (Applause and laughter). Business is business. (Laughter). That is to say, if my hon. friends and neighbours want to strangle me, my first duty is to prevent them. Canadians must have a tariff to suit themselves, Mr. Tarte went on. If 25 per cent was not enough-speaking for himself alone-he would have no hesitation in raising it to 30 per cent or 40 per cent. 'I don't care.' he said, amid the laughter of the audience.
The hon. Postmaster General never repudiated that speech on that occasion. Why did he not repudiate that speech on that occasion if he did not think his colleagues in the right ? We have not been told by the hon. Postmaster General that one of his colleagues had been driven out because of his heresy on this question and it is quite evident now that what the ex-minister said this afternoon is true that he did nothing but what he had done ail along, that the greatest latitude had been allowed, that he never said anything but what lie had said long before in the presence of the right hon. first minister before he went to England. He had made no change, he had only acted at that time as he had acted in the past. But, he confesses that he had found out that his colleagues were not true to the principle of protection and that he intended

to leave them. That is the serious fact which is presented to this country to-day. That is the fact that will go to the people of Canada from one ocean to the other that a member of this government was sacrificed by free trade colleagues because he was a protectionist, that he was sacrificed because they did not believe in protection and the lesson which this teaches to all those people who are seeking protection in this country and think protection ought to be employed is that the Liberal party are not to be trusted on this question. It also shows that if the people of this country desire a policy of protection they must go to that party which has always been true to the great national policy of this country.

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