May 13, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)

UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes, Dundee. He said that, though there were no oranges growing in Scotland, and there was no sugar made there, a certain man had found a way to make marmalade, and having done so had established an industry based on one of the natural resources of the country. And after he got through with that classification he declared: "That is the kind of industry I would encourage"; adding the very comforting assurance that such in-

dustries would not need "very much protection." Now, I should like to know how those words accord with the declaration that a tariff should not he based on the principle of protection. What industry in the world would not come in under the class named by my hon. friend from Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) ? And he says that the tariff should be such as to protect these industries! He declares, in one clause, that the tariff should not be based on the principle of protection, and in another clause he says "the encouragement of industry" is just what it ought to be based on. Let me ask my hon. friends opposite a very plain and simple question: Is the tariff in effect in this country to-day based on the principle of protection, or is it not? Now, I should like to get an answer, even a nod, I do not care whether vertical or horizontal. But I cannot get either one. I venture to say that there is not one gentleman opposite who will tell us in this debate whether the present tariff is based on the principle of protection or not. Why, if they say no, the immediate answer is: What then do you want? If they say yes, then the answer is: Why, this is your own tariff. There have been substantial reductions since their day, but the principle of protection is in the tariff now and it must have been there before the reductions were made. The tariff of this country to-day, in every essential feature, save reduction, is the tariff prepared by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's himself, which he lauded to the skies year after year as complying with every requirement of protection. He tells this House that he has never given adherence to the principle of protection. I tell my hon. friend from Shelburne and Queen's that he has given adherence to that principle in every Budget speech which he delivered during the course of fifteen years in power. He gave adherence to the principle of protection in every Budget he ever brought down, and in every tariff he framed; and not only did he do so, but he admitted the fact in Budget speech after Budget speech, and I have them before me. Let us see how the hon. member did obeisance to the principle of protection. I will take first a speech he made-

Topic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS
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