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


William Paterson (Minister of Customs)



You cannot bring the Intercolonial Railway from Point Levis to Montreal and operate it without having some extra train hands. You cannot enlarge your postal service, and give facilities to different parts of the country without paying for it. There has been an increase, but people such as dwell in Canada will endorse an increase in the public expenditure for the collection of revenue, provided the public revenue has so increaseed as to warrant it. Turn to the Public Accounts, where it gives the cost of collection of revenue in the excise, the customs, the railways, the canals, the weights and measures, the post office, and in 1894-5, which. was the last fair year's
expenditure of the Conservative party

for their accounts in 1896, in my judgment, were not fair accounts-and you will find in the last year's fair expenditure of the Conservative government, that the charges under consolidated expenditure for the collection of revenue amounted to $9,129,416, while the total revenue collected that year was $33,978,129. The cost of collection was therefore 27 per cent. Now, in 1900 the total charge for collection of revenue amounted to $11,044,526, but the total revenue collected was $51,029,994, the cost of collection being 22 per cent, or 5 per cent less than it was under the Conservative government in 1894-5. If the cost of collecting revenue in 1900 had been at the same rate as in 1894-5, the expenditure would have been in round figures $2,750,000 more than it was, and I think that is an answer to the gentleman who charges us with having increased the expenditure.
Before concluding, Sir, I wish to allude to the subject with which the hon. gentleman from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) closed his remarks in which he entered into the question as to whether there had been in the province whence he comes questions of race and creed introduced at the last election. I was glad to hear the words he spoke. They were a rebuke to men-I will not say in this House-but at all events they were a rebuke to a portion of the press which supports the Conservative party in the province of Ontario, and to a portion of the people there. I am glad he uttered these words. I re-echo the sentiment of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax) given utterance to in this House on more than one occasion, and I cannot forbear quoting those words of his, which ought to find an echo in the breast of every man who is a lover of his country :
As has been well said by the right hon. gentleman, this is a matter into which party consideration should not enter. This is a 'matter which should be above all party considerations, and I, for one, as long as I have any voice in this House or in this country shall protest against any question of race or creed being introduced into the party politics of Canada. Grand sentiments these. In this debate that hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden, Halifax) dealt
*with this question again, and he used this language :
I think that to stand for the unity ol the people of this country and to suppress any cry of race or creed that may be raised, is a matter of greater importance to any political party in Canada than is the effort to obtain or retain power.
Grand sentiments. He recognizes the fact that ought to he recognized by all : That you may hold to a high tariff or to a low tariff, but that you should strive for a united people ; a people animated with if common desire to advance the welfare of their country, and to promote its progress in every portion of it. Why should these race and religious cries be introduced in a grand country like this ? Why should an attempt be made to separate the people and to obliterate that united feeling which is absolutely necessary : I will not say to the existence of confederation, but to the progress of Canada under confederation. I wish, Sir, it might be said that gentlemen on the other side, each in his place endeavoured to give effect to the noble sentiments uttered by the leader of their party. The hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil) said in his speech the other day :
In the debate in this House the other day it was stated that race issues were being raised in North Bruce. I do not know whether 'they have been or not; but North Bruce has evidently remained, according to last reports, true to its old policy. I hope the electors of North Bruce did not vote on racial lines. If they voted on party lines, they had a right to vote as they did, it is a free country.
And here the hon. gentleman from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) arose in his place and said ;

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