March 28, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROBERT A. PRINGLE (Cornwall and *Stormont).

Mr. Speaker, at this very early hour in the morning, I do not think it will be at all becoming- in me to take up very much of the time of the House. I did not intend until this afternoon, speaking on this motion. But, representing as I do the *electoral district of Cornwall and Stormont in which is situated the town of Cornwall, known in eastern Ontario as ' the factory town,' I felt that it was incumbent upon me, even if I only said a few words, to give my reasons for supporting the amendment so ably spoken to by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax), and the other hon. gentlemen who have supported it. I listened attentively to the hon. member for Pontiac (Mr. Murray). He says he is not a very old man, but he lias been in polities for a great number of years. He *says that in 1878, when the Right Hon. Sir John Macdonald went through the country advocating the national policy, he did not know what it was and had to ask his opponent what it meant, because he had never heard of protection. Well, if the hon. gentleman, in 1878, had never heard of protection, he had not followed the political history of the different countries. He complains that no manufacturing industries have reached the county of Pontiac, and then he tells us that the county is entirely j undeveloped and that they have no railway communications. I have no doubt that manufacturing industries will reach the county of Pontiac within a very short time, if the national policy is adhered to, and that these valuable water-powers will be used to drive the wheels of manufactories. He refers to the Conservative party having been hurled from power in 189G. It is quite true that they were defeated in 1896, and they were defeated upon pledges given by the hon. gentlemen opposite, not one of which they have fulfilled to the present day. He referred to the speech of the non. member for South Lanark (Mr. Hag-gart) in which the latter had made some statement about the enlightened countries favouring protection. I would like the hon. member for Pontiac (Mr. Murray) to name one country which has not framed and which Is not now framing its commercial regulations in such a manner as to guard its own interests against the encroachments of its rivals. He cannot name one that is not adopting such a policy. The only statement a free trader can make is that Great Britain to-day is a free trade country. But they do not tell you of the years and years of protection in Great Britain which built up the industries of that country until they felt they were able to control the markets of the world, and then they threw down the walls of protection.
The hon. gentleman has referred to the race question, and I for one hope it will be the last time that it is referred to in; this House. I cannot understand why hon. gentlemen opposite are continually getting up and talking race and creed. You do not hear it on this side of the House, we don't want to hear it in this House, and we don't want to hear it in the country. When a motion is made in this House in favour of a policy of adequate protection, and encouragement to the labouring, agricultural, manufacturing, mining and other interests of Canada, why should a gentleman speaking on that motion give us a long tirade about race and creed ? Why should he get up and say to hon. members who did not see fit to vote as he voted on some motion in this House, that the constituents which elected these men were fanatics and bigots?

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