Well, if they will allow me to protect myself, I will do that as well as I can. I do not want any of the kind of assistance they propose. This matter of protection on lumber would affect the farmer injuriously, just as have all the other conditions of protection in Canada. Let us suppose that out in Dakota or somewhere in the American north-west, at a point near the border, there is a saw-mill, and that on the Canadian side of the line are a number of farmers who require lumber. It will cost them, perhaps, $2 or $3 per thousand feet to pay the freight on lumber coming from the nearest point in Canada. If you impose a protective duty on lumber, the consequence will be that these farmers must choose between paying the duty or paying the heavy freight charges on the lumber they require. I claim that this would be an injustice. It is perfectly impossible to place a duty on lumber coming into Canada without very materially injuring the farmers of Canada.
Notv, the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) spoke of culls and common grade lumber coming into Canada to-day at very low prices. Well, now, I can only speak of my own experience. The fact is that at this very point, Ottawa, one of the greatest lumber manufactories of Canada, the people are unable to get the common and cheap lumber they require. I myself, who manufacture a very considerable quantity of lumber, had to buy that class of lumber at other points last season and bring it here. So far as this district is concerned, therefore, that statement is not correct. The hon. gentleman also referred to red pine and hemlock coming into Canada. Again, i would like to answer the hon. gentleman. The fact is that the demand for red pine was so great during last season and the season before that everything that was to spare in the United States and Canada was absorbed by the British market, and everything that is to be produced the coming season in red pine in this section of the country is bought up for that market.
Now. I do not think I should take up the time of the House much longer on this subject, but I just say again that I am utterly opposed to any legislation of this kind. And I am sorry, and very sorry, to think there is a lumberman in Canada who is so small and contracted in his ideas as to ask for the establishment of a condition which, perhaps, might give him a little local benefit, but would be such a great injustice to the farmers of Canada and the people generally who need lumber, and who ought to be free to buy it where they can get it cheapest. In so far as the general principle of trade is concerned, what could be more contrary to reason and justice than the imposing of duties in order to benefit special individuals ? If you are to impose protective duties so as to help this individual and that individual, why, you must pass these benefits around and protect everybody, and when all are protected, in what position are you ?
Topic: DUTY ON LUMBER.