March 26, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Edward Hackett



Yet, Sir, we find that that fiscal system has been supported by the people of Canada from that date to the present, that under that system Canada has gone on and prospered, that her industries have flourished, and that to-day the government of the country, although they pretend to be a free trade or revenue tariff government, are bound to sustain that underlying principle in their tariff of protection to Canadian industries. Sir, if this government had fulfilled their pledges ; if they had repealed
the protective tariff of the Conservatives, they would not be in a position to-day to tell us that Canada was flourishing and prosperous. But, because they retained the principle of protection to the industries of Canada, the Minister of Finance was able to bring down a budget speech congratulating the country on its splendid financial position. Mr. Speaker, there is one thing we want in this country, and that is, honest government. I care not what party be in power, whether it be Liberal or Conservative or Independent, we want that party to be honest, and to carry out, as far as possible, the pledges they made to the people. There are two gentlemen who sit on this side of the House, but who are classed as Independents, and we heard them last night rebuke the government for not carrying out their pledges to the people of the country to reduce the expenditure by several million dollars a year, and to reduce the tariff ; but, still these gentlemen told us that they were going to vote against the amendment of the leader of the opposition. How can we have honest government in this country unless the Independent members, and indeed the supporters of the government themselves, demonstrate that they are opposed to conduct which tends to lower the standard of honesty and integrity in the government of this country. I listened to the hon. gentleman from , Lisgar (Mr. Richardson) with a great deal of pleasure, because he made a very pleasing address, but he told us that while he was opposed to protection, while he believed that this government had not carried out its pledges; while he knew that the Minister of Customs (Hon. Mr. Paterson), especially in addressing a meeting in Manitoba, had gone back on his promises and pledges, yet, in face of all that, he announced that ho would vote with the government on this occasion. Sir, it is lowering the tone of public opinion in this country for gentlemen such as the hon. member to .announce their support of a government who have not fulfilled their pledges, and who are masquerading in the stolen clothes of the late Conservative government.
Now, Sir, I want to say a word in reference to the hon. gentleman from King's, P.E.I., (Mr. Hughes), who spoke last night. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Hughes) made his debut in parliament, and he acquitted himself in a creditable manner, and comirig from the same province as I do, although we are opposed in politics, I must give my hon. friend credit for delivering a very fail-speech. But, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Hughes) was not correct in his facts. His speech sounded all right, but when you came to sift it, you found that he >vas quite astray in his conclusions. He said :
Some members from the great province of Ontario have asked us what this government have done for the farmers: what they have done to find better markets for the products of this

country. Now, Sir, allow me to read some figures which will show what was done for the farmers of this country under the present administration.
Then, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Hughes) went on to show that our exports of hutter, cheese, eggs, bacon, ham, animals and their products, apples, fruit, wheat, flour, &c., had increased from $109,915,000 In 1896, to $170,000,000 in 1900. He said that this government have increased those exports. Will the hon. gentleman pretend to say that It was this government that caused this great increase in the exports of the country ? Does he pretend to say that because we had fine weather, because the rain fell and the sun shone and the crops were abundant, this government did it ? Does the hon. gentleman pretend to say that anything that was done by this government in any way assisted the industrious, Intelligent people of Canada thus to increase their products ? Sir, it was due to the energy, the enterprise, the Industry of the people themselves, and not to this government.
I want to refer briefly to the cheese industry of the province of Prince Edward Island, which has grown largely within the last few years. Who established that industry there ? The late Conservative government. They sent Prof. Robertson down there, when there was only one small cheese factory on the island, and encouraged the farmers to start more factories ; but he was very coolly received by gentlemen who are now sitting on the Treasury benches. That industry is now prospering and flourishing to such an extent that in the year 1900 the farmers of Prince Edward Island were able to export $600,000 worth of dairy products, owing to what was done by the Conservative government, while nothing has been done by this government.
We in Prince Edward Island desire to have the means of transporting our products to the markets of the old world. We have been insisting on having provided ; but this government has done nothing for us in that direction. A day or two ago I asked the hon. Minister of Agriculture what he was doing in that connection, and he said the matter was now being negotiated. We have had this government in power now four or five years. When these gentlemen were in opposition they promised us cold storage. The system was introduced into this country by Dr. Montague, a late member of this House. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries, when canvassing the votes of the people for his candidates in Prince Edward Island, said, Return me to power, and you will have cold storage for the shipment of your products to the markets of the old world. But we have no cold storage. One year a steamer called at Charlottetown. Another year an old hulk called the Gaspesia, which had no oold storage accommodation, called there. For the last two years none have called. We have.

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