February 1, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


Walter Allan Hall



If I meant free trade I would
say so. A great deal has been said about immigration and emigration by hon. members on the opposite side. I may say at the outset that it ill becomes anyone living in a glass house to throw stones. Do hon. gentlemen opposite not know that the policy of high protection is no new experiment in Canada? This was the fiscal policy of the Conservative party from 1879 to 1896. Do the same gentlemen not know that during that time the trade and commerce of Canada was at a low ebb? None of our industries was thriving, not even manufacturing, although this high protective tariff was to be a panacea for all ills, more especially those of our manufacturing industries. The increase of population, probably the best barometer of the prosperity of the country., was the lowest from 1881 to 1901, being only 11.44 per cent. This is the smallest increase of any like period in the history of panada under British rule. What about immigration and emigration during this period? The answer is, only 11.44 per cent increase of population. Mark you, this was under Tory rule with a high protective fiscal policy. Indeed, several of the then leading Conservatives confessed in parliament that high protection had not accomplished what it was intended to do-in other words, it had failed. This period of Tory rule, of depression, of lack of development, of lack of prosperity, of lack of increase of popidation was followed by a period of the greatest development, of the greatest prosperity, of the greatest increase of population that has ever taken place in Canadian history-a percentage of 34.17. This was achieved under Laurier with a moderate tariff for revenue only. This same policy is the fiscal policy of the King government. Look ahead for increased development, for increased prosperity, for increased growth of population, and for increased national unity!

Topic:   S90 COMMONS
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