June 17, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)



So far as the despatch refers to any agreement whatever between France and Canada touching a reduction of duties there is absolutely no foundation for it. There were negotiations, as has already been stated in a general way, between the representatives of this government and the French government in Paris last autumn, hut they did not come to any conclusion, and there is therefore no foundation whatever for the statement the hon. gentleman has read so far as it relates to any change of commercial policy on one side or the other, i As respects the steamship line, there is a standing offer for a subsidy for a line between France and Canada and negotiations have occasionally taken place with the view of getting that line into operation. It is possible that the Prime Minister, or the Minister of Trade and Commerce, has had some recent negotiation on the subject* with which I am not acquainted, but that would be done under the standing offer which exists in our statute of a subsidy for a line of steamers between France and Canada.

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