March 24, 1919 (13th Parliament, 2nd Session)

L LIB

Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal

Mr. READ:

This is what is says:
These demands are apparently made in the hope and belief that, if they are granted, those making them will be relieved of a large part of what they call the " Burden of Taxation," which the tariff imposes upon them.
They may argue that under a lower tariff the volume of goods imported win increase, and consequently there will be no decrease in the revenue. But mark this: they want the duty removed entirely from implements, lumber, cement, oil and other articles of which they are large consumers. If the revenue Is to he maintained under such a rearrangement of the tariff schedules, other classes of the people must pay what the Grain Growers will escape.
It is pretty nearly time that the Grain Growers begin to do something. My province, as I said before, has identical interests with the great provinces of the west, particularly the three prairie provinces. What has happened in our province through this tariff, the brightest province in the Dominion-that province which nature has done more for to the square mile than any other province in the Dominion of Canada; the jewel of the Dominion? This is what has happened: That province has become absolutely depopulated through forty years of this tariff-forty years of protection. When we were an autonomous province doing our own business, and doing it well, the whole revenue was raised by a ten per

cent ad valorem tax on imported goods, and we did not have to pay one per cent of direct taxes. That ten per cent has been raised up to 35 per cent to forty per cent to-day, and they expect the province to live under a burden like that. Why, the agricultural interests of this country are hewers of wood and drawers of water for these Big Interests. Here is another paper -not a Charlottetown paper, but
9 p.m. no less than one of the greatest financial and trade papers in the Dominion of Canada, the Montreal Gazette. This advertisement is headed "Dangerous to Production, to Labour, and to Industry." Then it goes on and gives the whole story, just the same story only in other words, and below are "The proxies of the fifteen thieves,"-Madam Smith the other day in the British Columbia Legislature, drew attention to. She said that the soul of Canada was held in leash by fifteen of the Big Interests of the Dominion of Canada-fifteen men own the whole shooting match. If their names are not signed, well, their representatives are there- Shaughnessy, George, Godfrey, Beatty, Black, Drummond, Ellis, Nanton, Nicholls, Williso-n, Bulman, Rolland, Russell, ficully, Worthington-just fifteen they total up.
Now, Mr. Speaker, that is the reason why I have changed my mind, because I see the danger that the Western people are standing in. As I told you the other day, we will send you four members from Prince Edward Island-I am as sure of that as that I am alive-if we get a fair show, but if they come down with that stuff, if they buy the press and debauch the people, as they do whenever they have a chance, where are you going to get off at? I may as well tell you Western farmers that you are not going to get this thing if you work alone, you have to get assistance from the Eastern Provinces, and if you do not look out for yourselves you will be in the soup.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

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