Donald Alexander MACKINNON

MACKINNON, The Hon. Donald Alexander, K.C., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
Birth Date
February 21, 1863
Deceased Date
April 19, 1928
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Alexander_MacKinnon
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a7e51c0d-8966-4959-a4a4-78a3f3a64fa7&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer, teacher

Parliamentary Career

November 7, 1900 - February 11, 1901
LIB
  East Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
March 20, 1901 - September 29, 1904
LIB
  East Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 12 of 13)


April 28, 1902

Mr. MACKINNON.

If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Johnston, Cape Breton) will read the whole resolution, he will see that it refers not only to trackmen but to 'other labourers' as well.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-WAGES OF TRACKMEN AND OTHER LABOURERS.
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March 19, 1902

Mr. MACKINNON.

I am glad the supporters of the lender of the opposition understand that it was, in effect, the resolution of 1878-they are not working in the dark. The preference part of the resolution of course is new. The last speaker, as well as the leader of the opposition, informed us that under such a policy the people would pay increased prices. I thiuk I took down the words of the leader of the opposition correctly, that ' the people would pay slightly increased prices to protect the manufacturers.' That goes, of course, to the root of the question.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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March 19, 1902

Mr. MACKINNON.

I never heard it before, I gathered that idea from reading the resolution, and noting its disastrous effects on the national policy leaders in the elections of 1900. I regret to repeat a chestnut for the hon. gentleman, because I suppose he is not accustomed to hearing it. Now, the hon. member for Wentworth (Mr. Smith) says that it will not do to take the total trade of the country as an argument to show prosperity, but that we must take the imports. So he proceeds to consider the imports, and at one blow he destroys his argument by stating that the imported goods should be manufactured here. He is opposed to any importations at all. He says that the imports represent prosperity, and

in the next breath he says we should not have any imports at all ; I hardly see how he can make both these arguments coincide. He instanced Germany, and says that we should not import from Germany. He instanced Belgium and the United States, and says we should manufacture in this country the goods we import from these countries. He forgets that we export to these countries as well as import from them. For instance, in the case of Belgium, we import $3,783,919 worth of goods from that country, and export $2,806,142 worth. In the case of Germany, we exported $2,141,552, and we imported $6,679,264. In the case of the United States we imported $119,000,000, and exported $72,000,000 worth. If the principle he lays down is a solid one, and if all nations adopted it, what would happen ? Why, no nation would have any imports at all, and where would our exports go ? International trade would cease. The position is evidently one that no reasonable man can accept, because it is only by the whole trade of a country that we can gauge that country's prosperity.

Now, what prosperity have we had ? The hon. gentleman admits we have prosperity, and I wish for a moment to present some instances of our prosperity as affected by the tariff. The hon. gentleman says that the government should get no credit for the prosperity that exists, and then he proceeds to show that values do not represent the increased prosperity at all. He says that the increase in value occurs in this way : The countries that purchased goods from us, if times are good, are able to pay more for these'- articles. That is the position he takes. He admits the increase in value and not in quantity, but he does not give any credit to the government for it. One important factor he forgets, and that is the part the people themselves play in the production and manufacture of these articles. He forgets to give the agriculturist and the manufacturer credit for their work. I for one am not unwilling to give credit to the men who produce the articles. I think it is owing largely to the people themselves that we have such a large export and import trade.

We have had governments and governments, and certainly this government is deserving of considerable credit when we compare what has been going on under their administration with what went on under a former government. I intend to make a few comparisons between the two administrations. The total trade during the last year the Conservatives were in power amounted to $239,025,360. Last year the total trade was $386,903,157, an increase of nearly $150,000,000. Now, that increase did not take place under the tariff enacted in 1878, it has occurred under the present tariff. Yet the opposition bring forth an amendment declaring that the operations of the present tariff are unsatisfactory- How

can any reasonable man state that tihe operation of a tariff is unsatisfactory under which the trade of the country has increased $150,000,000, in round numbers, in five years ? How can any reasonable man vote for such an amendment ? I appeal to the common sense of lion, gentlemen opposite whether they can support such an amendment by their votes in view of this great increase under the present tariff. I must say that when the present tariff was enacted I for one would never have dared to predict the enormous results that have resulted from its operation; and I believe that neither of the hon. gentlemen who have spoken in favour of the amendment would have dared to predict that Canada would have seen such a marvellous development in her trade as has taken place.

Now, let me deal with the imports. In 1890 these amounted to $118,011,508 ; in 1901 they amounted to $190,415,525, or an increase of nearly $90,000,000 in imports alone. The duties collected upon these imports amounted in 1901 to over $29,000,000, and in 1890 to $20,000,000 ; so that the duty amounts to only about $9,000,000 more in 1901 than it did in 1S9G. Had the famous old national policy remained in force, instead of collecting $9,000,000 more, the government of the day would have collected a much larger amount in duty upon goods imported into Canada ; and if hon. gentlemen who are in favour of this amendment think that the government should have collected many millions more of duty than they did, I beg to differ with them. Now, there is this important point to be noticed, that of all the goods imported in 1901 there came into Canada for the benefit of the people $71,730,938 free of duty. Perhaps it is that particular result of the tariff that our hon. friends opposite object to, it may be unsatisfactory to them in that respect. 1 have not heard any of them point out in what respect the tariff is unsatisfactory. For my part if all the goods came in free I think the people would be satisfied.

I will refer to the exports. In 1896 these amounted to $121,000,000 odd, and in 1901 to $196,000,000 odd, showing an enormous increase of $75,000,000 and over. I have simply gone into a few of the details of our exports and I would like to refer to them. Take our fisheries, for instance ; in 1896 the value of our exports of the products of our fisheries was $11,183,698, while, in 1901, it was $10,000,000 odd, showing a decrease. I think that the fishing industry deserves to be taken up by the government and some improvements made so that the country will derive more benefit from that important branch of industry. There are many ways in which the fishing industry may be improved and the establishment of hatcheries is one way. The government has been doing very well in providing a system of cold storage for preserving fish, and I hope it will go further with that work so that the

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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March 19, 1902

Mr. MacKINNON.

industry, instead 6f retrograding shall go ahead. Of animals and their produce in 1896 we exported to the value of $37,404,396, while in 1901, our export of animals and their products totalled $56,299,282. There is an increase of over half as much as the exports five years ago under that famous national policy. The hon. member for Wentworth (Mr. Smith) who spoke last endeavoured to make it clear that the government had not accomplished anything to encourage the development of the cheese and dairying industry of the country. But it is evident, and the country knows it well, that the hon. Minister of Agriculture has been introducing the cold storage system into steamers wherever he could. It is already in operation on some steamers, and this year, I understand, seventeen steamers will be equipped with cold storage. This is a system that I believe the hon. Minister of Agriculture is experimenting with, and we cannot expect it to be perfect all at once. If a few losses have occurred, as the hon. member for Wentworth has suggested, this must be expected, because people must necessarily run some risk in experimenting at the outset. But, to further benefit the agricultural interests I would suggest the advisability of establishing more illustration stations throughout the country. If there is one thing more than another that we are interested in it is in advancing the agricultural prosperity of the country in every way possible, and, speaking for my own little province, I can say that the farming community are now in such a position that they understand in a different way from what they formerly did any new methods that are brought to their attention, any improvements that are brought to their knowledge in the working of their farms, and they are ready now to adopt everything along the line of improvement. Of course, the farmers of Ontario for some years have been engaged in a dairying and cheese business and have led the way in those important branches of agriculture. Down in the eastern provinces we are following in their footsteps and we are after all a portion of the same body politic and we wish to share in the general advancement of the country. In agricultural products, in 1896, the exports amounted to $17,900,000 and in 1901 to $3S,568.000, an increase in value of more than double the total exports of five years ago. When an hon. gentleman says that this is simply an increase in value, he does not speak by the book, because this is too great an advance to be entirely affected by the value of these products, and I can take the blue-book and sihow him the quantities set forth proving conclusively that there has been a large increase in the volume instead of the value only having been increased. Of the produce of the mine we exported $8,000,000 worth in 1896, and in 1901 the splendid sum of $40,531,314 was realized from our exports, or over five

times as much in 1901 as in 1896. Of course, the Yukon was opened up, but, possibly, if our Conservative friends had remained in power, it would have continued as it had been since Adam's time. In butter we exported, live years ago, .$1,000,000 worth, while in 1901, we exported over $3,000,000 worth, so that hon. gentlemen will see that our exports of butter more than trebled. The hon. member for Wentworth spoke of the slight decrease that had occurred compared with the year before, but he forgot to tell the House that there had been an increase of $2,243,000 as compared with five years ago in the butter trade. There is no doubt that the government are entitled to considerable credit for supplying cold storage wherever they could. They could not force it into steamers, but they have offered subsidies to such steamers as would adopt it. It is remarkable that from Canada we export more butter than they do from the United States. The figures I have of their butter export in 1900 show that they sold $3,142,378 worth, while Canada exported in 1900 $5,429,563 worth of butter. In cheese, in 1896, we exported $13,956,000 and in 1901 we exported over $21,000,000 worth, or nearly $7,000,000 of an increase in our cheese export. Of course, the largest part of this cheese was made in the province of Ontario, but I think our own little province comes second or third on the list, and this is remarkable where there is so much farming land. It shows the farmers there have been benefited by the addresses given by the gentlemen sent down to the island by the government and that a new era has opened up for that province. Everything looks brighter than in the past. This amount of cheese which we exported in 1901 was the largest amount ever exported from Canada. There is no year previous in which the export comes anywhere near to it. It was over $21,000,000 in 1901. Comparing this export with the export of cheese from the United States we find that they sent out $4,939,255 worth, or only about one-quarter or one-fifth as much cheese as we did. In 1806, in eggs, we exported $S07,000 worth, while last year we exported $1,692,296 worth, an increase of $885,000, an increase of more than double in the egg trade. In bacon and hams, in 1896, we exported $4,000,000 worth and in 1901 $11,000,000 worth, or nearly treble the amount, and yet sime hon. gentlemen grumble about the condition of the bacon and ham industry. In beef and mutton only $28,000 worth were exported the last year the Conservatives were in power, while last year over $826,000 worth were exported, showing an increase of nearly $800,000. Of fruits we exported, in 1896, $1,700,000 worth, and in 1901 $2,000,000 worth. Now, the government deserves credit for taking a greater interest than ever has been taken before in

the fruit industry and in horticulture. Of wheat, in 1896, we exported $5,000,000 worth, and in 1901 over $13,000,000 worth. Of flour of wheat, in 1896, we exported $718,000 worth, and in 1901 we exported $4,030,746 worth. Our export of our total grain products amounted in 1896 to $1,000,000, and in 1901 over $4,500,000, with one exception that of the year 1898, the largest export of grain in the history of the country.

I shall not confine my remarks to agricultural products alone, but I shall refer to a few of our manufacturing products in order to show the prosperity that exists in this branch of our national life. I have given a few examples to show that the farmer is marvellously increasing his exports, and now I trust to be able to prove that the manufacturer is benefiting as well. I am not of that class of radical free traders who would favour free trade through thick and thin and deny just favours to the manufacturers or to any other class of people in Canada. I want to see the manufacturer and the farmer working hand in hand and prospering together. I can observe now more than ever before, that in certain portions of Canada our manufacturing interests are deserving of more encouragement than I formerly thought they deserved. I did hold, and I still hold, very strong free trade views, but as one hon. member has said,

I believe in practical politics, and I believe in doing what is fair to each section of the country, so that we may benefit as a whole people. Take the manufacture of agricultural implements in Canada, and we find that $1,749,000 worth were exported last year as against $593,000 worth exported in 1896 under the old Conservative tariff. There certainly is an instance where the manufacturer has benefited under the Liberal tariff. Our people are able to manufacture more of these implements and to export more, bringing wealth back to the country, than they did before the Liberal partv came into power. Surely there is nothing "in that to show that the present tariff is unsatisfactory. I would like some solid sound reason against the existing tariff te-fore I could vote for the amendmeut proposed by the hon. member (Mr. Borden). It is true that you may find that a few manufacturers complain, but those are the men who want to make money personally. They do not complain because they seek the general welfare of the country. I believe that any manufacturer who wants any change which would be in the general interest of Canada, will get that change made by the present government, but the man who wants a change for the benefit of his own pocket will not and ought not get it at the expense of the country. One gentleman on the other side complained of the number of carriages that were imported into Canada, but I can point him to the fact that over $450,000 worth of carriages, including carts, bicycles, &c., were exported from Canada

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last year. I can see no reason why carriages should not be imported into Canada just as well as we export them from Canada to other countries. Again let me point out that $75,000 worth of boots and shoes were exported from Canada in 189(5, and that last year we exported $200,000 worth ; in 189(5 we exported leather and manufactures of leather to the value of $1,995,000 and last year to the value of nearly $2,500,000. Surely these enormous increases show increased activity in trade. These figures strike me, Sir, as very excellent reasons why we should support the present tariff. Under this tariff the country has progressed by leaps and bounds and when the hon. leader of the opposition proposes that we should change existing conditions, he should be able to give some sound reason to induce us to make the change. That reason I have not yet heard. Reference has been made during the debate to the increase of the public debt. There is no doubt that the public debt lias been slightly increased, but we should remember that if there is a large public expenditure it is in the interests of the country that it should be so. If there is any unwise expenditure of public money then it should be condemned, but no man who knows the extent of our country and the resources which we have to develop, will deny the necessity of an increase in the public debt for useful public purposes. I will take some credit to the present government for some features in connection with the increase in public debt, and I will make a comparison. In 1896 we paid in interest on the public debt $10,502,429. and in 1901 the interest amounted to $10,807,954. We are now paying $305,000 more interest on the public debt than we paid five years ago, but on the other hand this government is receiving more interest on its investments than the Conservative government received. In 1896 the government received as interest on investments $1,317,000, and in 1901 we received from the same source $1,784,000 making an increase of $414,833, or a balance in our favour-comparing the interest which we pay now on the public debt with the interest which was paid in 1896, and the interest which we receive now on investment with the interest which we received formerly-a balance in our favour of $109,308. On the whole this government is paying less interest than did the Conservative government, and we are having the benefit of the expenditure of more money in the country. I call that good financing, and I am quite sure that the gentlemen opposite will give credit to this government where credit is due. 1 repeat that in view of the larger rate of interest we receive on our investments, we are actually paying less interest charges than did the Conservative government five years ago. I shall not trouble the House with a reference to the expenditure because gentlemen on the other side have voted for each ' Mr. MacKINNON.

I item of almost this total expenditure session after session, and to that extent they have endorsed the expenditure. That is the best answer to any complaint that may be made as to the increase of our annual expenditure. As another indication of the prosperity of the country I might mention that the total deposits in the Post Office savings banks alone have increased by $11,000,000. I would point out also that the larger share of our exports during the year have gone to Great Britain. We sent to Great Britain $105,000,000 worth and to the United States $72,000,000. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden) has suggested that we should follow somewhat in the footsteps of the United States. I take issue with him there. His amendment is intended to retaliate in some measure against the United States. That would be an unwise policy for us to adopt. We as sensible men, must use our judgment and frame our tariff regardless of the tariff adopted by any other country. It would be foolish for us, because they increased their tariff that we should increase ours in proportion in order to hit back. It would be a senseless policy for us to adopt. We are after all but a young country in comparison. Many of our people are living happily on the other side, and the disposition of the United States towards us is, I think, friendly, as our disposition towards the United States should continue to be. They have put up a high protective tariff, but we have the word of the late President McKinley in his last speech that their intention was to reduce their tariff and gradually get it to a revenue tariff basis. I believe that if President McKinley had lived he would have changed the old United States tariff, which undoubtedly was injurious to us at the time it was adopted.

I have now a few words to say with reference to the administration of our railways. The Intercolonial Railway is to-day in splendid condition and its accommodations are equal to those of any railway on the American continent.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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March 19, 1902

Mr. MACKINNON.

I am willing to accept the explanation. I thought I had the words correctly. But the sentiment was reasonably clear.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
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