Personal Data

Brantford (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 14, 1867
Deceased Date
September 27, 1925

Parliamentary Career

October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  Brantford (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 8)

March 21, 1911


I accept the explanation given by the Minister of Labour (Mr. King). I made the statement on the floor of the House in perfect good faith, having read in the Toronto ' Globe ' a report to that effect. Since that item appeared, a copy of the Berlin ' Newsdlecord ' has been sent me. That paper gives the date of the passing of the resolution as January 12, and on the 13th the secretary telegraphed to the minister the gist of the resolution asking him to place the contents before the Prime Minister. That was acknowledged. But the end of the paragraph states this:

To make its position stronger, the Board of Trade, since Hon. Mr. Fielding laid the terms of the proposed pact on the table of the House, has ordered copies of the original resolution to be sent to the leading newspapers of Ontario, thus showing that the board considered that it covered the ground'well and was opposed to the pact.

I presume the explanation made by the minister is in connection with this last statement by this newspaper. That was probably at the meeting where the six members were present. However, I am not familiar with the details, and only wish to say that the statement I made on the floor of the House was made in entire good faith.

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March 8, 1911


Then I will hand the table for Austria-Hungary to the ' Hansard '.

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March 8, 1911


That is am easy question to answer. A man always has a mandate to oppose anything he has not a mandate to vote for. I have been a little surprised that no authorities have been quoted on this subject. I have been looking up the question, and I find in. a work entitled ' The Government of England,' by Lovell, who, I believe, is a recognized authority, under the head, ' The Doctrine of Mandate,' the following:

Another sign of the times is found in the doctrine, now sanctioned by the highest authority, that parliament cannot legislate on a new question of vital importance without a mandate from the nation. The theory that the individual representative is a mere delegate of his constituents, so that he is hound to resign and submit to re-election if he changes his views, has long been a subject of discussion; but the idea that parliament as a whole exercises a delegated authority in the sense that it is morally restrained from dealing with questions that have not been laid before the people at the preceding general election would formerly have been regarded as a dangerous political heresy. Yet during the recent agitation in regard to fiscal policy, Mr. Balfour, while repudiating the suggestion that the existing parliament, having been elected on the single issue of the South African war, ought to be dissolved when peace was made, refused to grant time for a debate on free food on the ground that it would he constitutionally improper for parliament to act on the question until it had been submitted 'to the people at a general election, and that it would he unwise for the House to discuss a subject on which it could not act. I

I think we are wasting time in discussing this question, because we have not any mandate from the people of this country with regard to it.

My second reason for opposing it, is the method of doing it. If the government had a mandate, the method would have been quite correct, but the government having no mandate, the very fact that we in this House, who have been elected by our several constituencies to represent the people of this country, have never even been called into consultation, that we have never been asked to express our views on a measure which is perhaps the most radical departure in policy that we have ever had in this country, and the fact that two men went to Washington and made this arrangement and have come back to this parliament and aTe practically trying to force this measure through the House, is a method which I, personally, cannot support. Let us consider for a minute the procedure in the case. It has not been brought out in the debate, I think, up to the present time, what tppIIv has happened. As I under-Mr. HARRIS.

stand it, a year ago representations were made by President Taft through Mr. J. A. Macdonald of the Toronto f Globe,' to this government, that he found himself in a difficult position, owing to the Payne-Al-drich tariff having in it a clause which required him to penalize Canadian importations into the United States. I do not know whether it is known or not, but I have heard, and I think it is quite correct, that this clause in the Payne-Aldrich Tariff was copied from the Canadian tariff. We had such a clause in our tariff for some dime. We had it several years ago when Germany found it necessary to- .attack us in its tariff, and what was the answer that Germany got? We simply put the Act into force as it was, and we said to Germany: Very well, if you want to penalize us, we will penalize you, which we did; and I think that action had the support of everybody in this country. And when the United Slates made representations that it was necessary to have legislation put through at Ottawa to save the president of that country, I think we should have given them the same answer that we gave to Germany. Now, what consideration has been given to this arrangement? I have been very much interested in these negotiations ever since they commenced; and as far as I can find out, the two ministers returned from Washington on a Wednesday, and at that time apparently the other members of the cabinet, or at least those that I spoke to, knew no more about the conditions of this compact than I knew myself. The council evidently met on Thursday for an hour-if I am wrong in this, I hope I shall be corrected; this proposal was evidently considered by the council for one hour, at three o'clock this House met, and at 3.30 the hon. Minister of Finance came in and laid the agreement before the House. "I am ..only speaking for myself, but personally, I do not think that any man should be asked to support a measure which is forced through in that way, and which means so much to this country.

The third reason which I have for opposing it, is the one to which I attach the most importance. No donbt all of the hon. members of this House have had the same experience that I have had while these negotiations were in progress. I had letters and interviews, and when I went to western Ontario, I met a great many people who expressed their anxiety that something might happen which would effect them or their interests adversely. To one and all of such requests for information, I said: You need have no fear whatever, because there will be no revision or alteration of the tariff of thisi country without a thorough investigation. I want to state my reasons

for having given that -answer, -and if I make a longer quotation from ' Hansard 5 than I would like to do, I hope the House will bear with me. The right hon. the Prime Minister, on the second day of this -session, speaking in the Debate -on the Address in reply to the speech from the Throne, referring to his visit of last summer to the west, made this statement-:

The people of the west are now asking for a reduction of duty on certain articles which they consume. That is a very proper subject of investigation, and we intend to investigate it- Bnt at the proper time. My hon. friend (Mr. It. L. Borden) is very impatient. We who have been in office for a certain number of years know that if there is one thing more than another essential to the business prosperity of a country it is stability of character. And my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) who has special charge of these matters on his side of the House will not dispute this, although when in office he was delinquent on this point-he tinkered with the tariff year after year. But with the warning before us given by his course, we were particularly careful not to fall into his error. It has been our policy to have a revision of the tariff periodically, hut not year after year. I stated to the people of the northwest during my recent trip that it would be ou-r duty to consider their requests and to deal with them in the spirit in which we have always dealt with requests from the people. And I repeat that now. I stated, and my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) quoted my words, that we would have a ccmmission of investigation before we undertook a revision of the tariff. I noticed that that-evoked a cheer on-The-part of hon. members on the other side of the House. And may I be permitted to say without offending my hon. friend, and with every hope that he will pardon my pride in the matter, that the parts of his address that were most applauded were his quotations from my speeches. I trust that this flattery will not make me vain; I mention it only as a fact which is within the knowledge of all who heard the hon. member's speech. The statement made by myself and quoted by the hon. gentleman that we would have an investigation by commission before we altered the tariff called forth a special cheer from hon. members opposite. Does any hon. member on the other side take issue with the promise I made? Would any of them advocate rushing into a revision of the tariff without previous investigation?

That I consider a statesmanlike utterance. I was perfectly satisfied1 with it. I took it as a distinct and definite promise, and I made other promises on the strength of it.

The fourth reason that I have, is one which may not perhaps appeal to some members of the House, but I do not think we should look upon this reason in too light a way. It is that it has hurt the pride of Canadians. Some of my hon. friends laugh.

I think a glance over the history of Can-1544 -

ada since confederation will prove my point. For many years we felt that we were absolutely dependent on the United States, and we had these pilgrimages to Washington, for the purpose of negotiating free trade relations. But every time that we went wearing out our shoe leather, as one hon. gentleman has put it, what was the result? We simply met with one rebuff after another. Every time we knocked at their door, we were refused admittance; and the load we had to carry in Canada for a great many years seemed greater than we actually could bear.

Had we got, however, what we wanted at that time, the whole course of Canadian history would have been changed. We would not have had a country such as we now have. Our maritime provinces would have been connected by trade and commerce with the eastern states; Ontario would have been dealing entirely with the state of New York and the adjacent states and in the Northwest of Canada, I doubt if we would have built a railway around the north shore of Lake Superior. But not having been able to get what we wanted, we were forced to initiate a policy of our own, and that was to take off our coats and seek to bind this country together and create a nation. We have done this. We have done perhaps what no other country in the world has accomplished. You all know what it means for a man when he feels he has done something. It makes him a better in every respect. One of the good things That has come to us in recentr yeaTS is The knowledge that we have a separate and distinct entity. The word ' Canadian ' stands to-day for something. Years ago it did not stand for much. At present, however, it means that Canadians have done something that they have accomplished things, and that means a great deal to a people just as it does to an individual.

I claim that this measure-the method of doing it, and the measure itself-is one that will have far reaching consequences on Canada perhaps more than anything that has ever happened. I give these four reasons for opposing it, which perhaps will not be considered sufficient by my hon. friends on this side. But for these four reasons alone I have made up my mind that I cannot support the government in this measure. I propose now to deal with its economic features, and shall have to do that in my own way. Each one approaches all these questions from his own standpoint, but I think every one will agree that we should approach the discussion of a measure of such importance as this in a sane manner. I cannot say that some of the arguments and remarks of the advocates of this measure are made in that spirit. I was Teading in the Toronto ' Globe,' of March 4, an account of a meeting at Woodstock the other

night at. which the hon. Minister of Labour (Mr. King) was present. The article is as follows:

Subtopic:   P. C. KNOX,
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March 8, 1911


I think I got the information in both cases from the Toronto * Globe.' I did not read that, however, to in any way belittle my hon. friend the Minister of Labour. What I read it for was to contrast the utterances of one of our Canadian ministers with those of one of the American ministers, which were delivered a few days ago at a public meeting in Chicago. At a dinner given by the Chicago board of commerce on the 15th February, at which one of the speakers was Mr. James J. Hill and Mr. Knox, Secretary of State for the United States, the latter spoke to this large and important gathering of Chicago's best business men on the question of reciprocity as follows:

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March 8, 1911


I have been interested in following several of these ballots which have been taken by different newspapers. In one Canadian Agricultural journal which 1 was reading to-night, I find that the number of votes throughout Canada apparently in favour of this measure was about 1,000 and against it 600, so that the opposition to it is not, as some hon. members would have us believe, coming from the one quarter. But even if it did come from one class, every Canadian has the right to make up his mind on any important question, and in so doing he shoulld not be subjected to the imputations of unworthy motives. We have in Canada all classes of people. We are not purely and simply an agricultural country. Manufacturing is a necessity. At least I think that we require manufacturing industries, but if it be not the policy of the Liberal party to have manufacturing, I suppose I shall have to remove myself from Canada. But I submit that one man in one industry in Canada is just as good as a man in another industry. We are all Canadians working together for the general benefit.

I have listened with a great deal of interest to all the arguments which have been put forth in defence of this measure. I listened with great pleasure to my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark), the other night-I always listen with pleasure to the hon. member because he always says something good, something of interest. But, in reading his speech next day, I found that it was one of his characteristic speeches. He quoted Peel, and Cobden and Gladstone. I am interested, as much as anybody possibly could be, in the free trade history of England. The men who inaugurated the policy of free trade in England were doing exactly what we at the present time in Canada are trying to do. They were trying to frame a policy which will make England a great country. Their policy, I believe, was the best that could possibly be pursued for that country at that time. But the fact that that policy was a good thing for England seventy or eighty years ago is no reason why we should accept it as the policy for Canada in 1911. We have to study the conditions of our own country.

I have given a great deal of thought to what I suppose is the real policy of the Liberal party. When the present government came into power, the existing policy was one of protection to all industries. That policy, I think all will' agree. has been retained. It

has been changed to suit the conditions arising from time to time-I do not believe in a hard and fast policy of any kind. Added to that fiscal policy, however, the government immediately inspired a new faith in the future of Canada. They undertook a vigorous programme of development of our natural resources. We advertised in a large and comprehensive way, and in the proper places, our potentialities. We undertook in a large way additions to our transportation facilities. We have followed a policy of encouraging agriculture, the growing of products for our available markets; and, what was more important, a policy of transportation facilities which would carry our surplus products to the best markets of the world in the best possible condition. The government granted the imperial preference. They made very large expenditures on agriculture, in order to give information to the farmers of this country of the best methods of growing and putting up their products so that they might command the highest price. This, I consider, has been the policy of the Liberal party, and that policy has been eminently successful. I can remember twenty-five or thirty years ago-though I am a young man yet- when the farmers came on our market in Brantford and sold chickens at 10 cents each; to-day they are getting in the neighbourhood of 75 cents. They would sell butter at 10 cents to 12 cents a pound, we are paying 30 cents to 40 cents per pound to-day on the Brantford market. Eggs were sold in those days from 8 cents to 10 cents a dozen; now we are well off if we get them at 50 cents to 60 cents at certain seasons of the year. What is the reason of this? The first reason is that we have built up a consuming population in Canada which is the best market our farmers have, and any surplus products can be shipped and delivered and sold in the best markets of the world where they will command the highest prices. We have done all this without any assistance from the United States. We were forced to do it on our own account. Now we have got the home market, and, what I have always felt as to the future policy of this country-and this is the crux, I think, of the economic situation in connection with this measure-is that our agriculture should be put in such shape that nothing should go out in its. crude condition. I do not want to see the wheat of our Northwest go through United States channels. If it must go out of Canada in its raw state, I want to see it go through Canadian channels. But I want to see as much of it milled in transit as possible. That is building up our own country. I do not want to see that second1 grade wheat they have in the west sold on the market at all

-it is not going to give us a good name for our Canadian wheat. I want to see the meat industry established in such a way that such wheat should go out of the country in the shape of dressed meat, bacon, hams, and other similar products. In the province of Ontario, where we are at present growing $200,000,000 worth of field crops,-first, I want to see that raised to $1,000,000,000,-I do not want to see one dollar's worth of it go out of' Ontario in its crude state, but in its most highly finished condition. And that, I think, is an ideal worthy of any Canadian, and a policy that any paTty should be glad to maintain.

A great deal has been said to prove that the effect of opening up our market in this country to ninety millions of people in the United States and to other nations which can send in their products here on the same terms as the Americans can, will have no effect on the farm produce of this country. First, I wish to take up the question of our own, production and export. Many hon. members who have spoken on this subject, ridicule the home market. They want to know what the home market is worth anyway. Well, here are some figures which I think will be of interest to the members of the House. In the year 1908 the estimated value of the field crops of Canada was $432,534,000. In the Trade and Navigation Returns for the year ending March 31, 1909, the total exports of field products from Canada for the year- which would be the crop to which I have just referred-were $82,718,926, leaving a total of $349,815,074, which was consumed in Canada. In other words, for every $1 of field produce raised in Canada, 80 cents worth was consumed and only 20 cents worth exported. That is what all this noise is about- to get markets for that 20 cents worth. Now, included in the exports are the following which have gone through a process of manufacture-I wish to show how closely agriculture and manufacturing must come together in this or any other agricultural country: [DOT]

Flour $ 7,991,517

Indian meal 4,818

Oatmeal 535,963

All other meal 58,104

Cereal foods 1,380,507

Bran 858,900

Canned berries 204,246

Total $11,064,055

Those products all went through a certain form of manufacture. I use those figures for comparison. In the following year, 1910, the amount was much larger in every way so far as crops in Canada were concerned. The total value of the crops was $531,690,000. The exports were $102,747,694; consumed in Canada, $229,342,406, or exactly the same percentage as the year be-

fore, notwithstanding the fact that the value of the crops was $100,000,000 more than the year before. Our home market increased in one year from $349,000,000 to $429,000,000. The total amount of exports which had undergone a partly manufactured state, was $19,866,653 as against $11,000,000 the year before. That is what our home market consumed in field crops alone. Now in animals and their products, in 1909, the exports were $52,026,710, and of that sum $38,144,107 went out of this country in the form of finished products, leaving only $14.000,000 which went out in the raw condition. I will submit the following tables in support of the remarks which I have just made: i


Exports. 1909. 1910.

Animals and their products $ 52,026,710 $ 54,696,630

Agricultural products.. 82,718,926 102,347,694Minerals

37,257,699 40,528,998Fisheries

13,332.871 15,760,391Forest

39,867,387 47,688,256Manufactures

28,711,944 40,331,467Totals $253,915,537 $301,353,436

In the item ' animals and their products ' are included many articles which have gone through a process of manufacture, viz.:

1909. 1910.

Butter .$ 1,575,877 $ 1,010,274Cheese . 20,398,482 21,607,692Furs, dressed . 69,077 35,371Furs, undressed . 2,504,878 3,680,949Grease . 197,299 171,363Glue stock . 7,239 8,872Hair . 147,407 172,583Hides . 4,034,343 5,430,591Horns and hoofs . 5,459 8,924Honey . 1,188 621Lard . 35,883 133,268Bacon . 8,415,247 6,431,359Ham9 . 422,851 416,886Game . 3,330 6,244Tongues . 3,356 264Canned meats . 195,917 193,479Condensed milk . 91,388 541,372Tallow . 34,880 16,279Totals .$38,144,107 $39,866,391It has been stated that the favourednation clause would have no effect on

prices in Canada for farm produce. It is a very peculiar thing, but it is a fact, that every country in the world with the exception of Denmark, which is known as an agricultural country, has high protection. I have schedules here showing for several of these countries the duties on the different articles of produce going into them. As I interpret the Act, Australia is not a favoured nation country, I do not think they get favoured nation treatment that other British colonies get.

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