I did not intend to enter into this debate, but seeing that the house is not disposed to let this measure go through, I will add a word or two. We seem to be enacting over again the old scene which was enacted some thirty years or more ago when these same companies got every concession possible, tariffs, bonuses, and special privileges, to establish an industry down there by the sea. We are no nearer the establishment of a steel industry in Canada to-day than we were when Sir Wilfrid Laurier bonused the Dominion Iron and Steel Company for that very purpose, and our efforts to-day are just as futile as they were then. The tariff has never yet established any industry. There is no industry, according to my friends on the protectionist benches, that is any nearer making its own way to-day than it was forty years ago.
I am sorry that the Prime Minister has thrown out a kind of a challenge to-night to this corner of the house, accusing us of insinuations regarding this tariff question. I have heard before these old promises of having protection extended to other classes. In fact some thirty or more years ago it was a common thing to hear from one end of this Dominion to the other the statement that the workingman was going to get a cosy home and a full dinner pail, and so on; yet after all the billions of dollars that have been spent in the establishment of these industries we are not any nearer that objective than we were thirty years ago, and the conditions of the workingmen in some of our industries cannot be compared with those which prevail in any other country on the northern hemisphere. In fact I believe our workingmen are in a more precarious condition as to their living and employment than the workingmen in England. If we did throw out insinuations, we are in mighty good company. Let me quote from the words of the present leader of the opposition, speaking on this very subject some years ago. He said:
I appeal to every man in this house and say that if he will take the time to read the history of the operations of Mackenzie and Mann from that time till now, he will find nothing but a long trail of parliamentary corruption, of lobbying of degradation of parliamentary institutions, of the lowering of the morale of public life and the degrading of those standards by which public life should be truly measured. Both sides of the house have been to blame. Look to the statute books for the aid that has been given to this company.
Change the name from Mackenzie and Mann to the British Empire Steel Corpora-
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic: CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT