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


Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)


Well, the hon. gentleman may rest assured that he is not able to drag me into a controversy on the race and creed cry. I think, Mr. Speaker, among the greatest questions of legislation, there is probably not one which bears more directly on our future welfare than that of the national policy, and the tariff which we adopt in this country. To all theories and all reasonings against protection stands opposed the. unanswerable fact that experience has been always and every where is in its favour. Our government is made for all. We are not asking for any special protection for any one class in this broad Dominion ; we are asking for ample protection to be given to every class, and the class that requires it most is the labouring class. I listened with a great deal of pleasure to the speech delivered the other evening by the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil), and I was a little struck at some of the remarks that he made. One of his remarks especially attracted my attention, in which he said that Sir John A. Macdonald, for^ the purpose of obtaining power, did not hesitate to introduce a tariff which was anti-British. Sir John A. Macdonald gave fifty years of his life towards building up the empire of which we form so important a part. You never heard Sir John A. Macdonald ad-

vocating unrestricted reciprocity, or commercial union ; but you did bear bim, in that manifesto which be published just prior to that election, use these words :
As for myself, my course is clear. A British subject I was born, a British subject I will die. With my utmost efforts, with my latest breath, will I oppose the veiled treason which attempts by sordid means and mercenary proffers to allure our people from their allegiance.
The people of Canada responded to that appeal, and they buried for all time to come that policy which was so strongly advocated by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and by other ministers who sit before me to-night ; and we did not hear any more of commercial union or unrestricted reciprocity.

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