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of the boundary line. The reciprocation on the part of the Dominion Government of the sentiment which was expressed by this Government was followed in October by the suggestion that it would be glad to have the negotiations, which had been temporarily suspended during the summer, resumed. In accordance with this suggestion the Secretary of State, by my direction, dispatched two representatives of the Department of State as special commissioners to Ottawa to confer with representatives of the Dominion Government. They were authorized to take such steps for formulating a reciprocal trade agreement as might be necessary and to receive and consider any propositions which the Dominion Government might care to submit.
Pursuant to the instructions issued, conferences were held by these commissioners with officials of the Dominion Government at Ottawa in the early part of November.
The negotiations were conducted on both sides in a spirit of mutual accommodation. The discussion of the common commercial interests of the two countries had for its object a satisfactory basis for a trade arrangement which offers the prospect of a freer interchange for the products of the United States and of Canada. The conferences were adjourned to be resumed in Washington in January, when it is hoped that the aspiration of both Governments for a mutually advantageous measure of reciprocity will be realized.
On January 26, 1911, the President sent a special message to Congress, in which he noted the success of the negotiations.
On the 7th of the present month two cabinet ministers' came to Washington as representatives of the Dominion Government, and the conferences were continued between them and the Secretary of State. The result of the negotiations was that on the 21st instant a reciprocal trade agreement was reached, the text of which is herewith transmitted with accompanying correspondence and other data.
In accordance with the plans of the administration Samuel W. McCall [Mass.], on January 28, introduced in the House a bill “to promote reciprocal trade relations with the Dominion of Canada. It was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
See speech of W. S. Fielding, one of the Canadian negotiators of the treaty, on p. 457.
· Philander C. Knox.
Early in February the bill was reported back with amendments. The report of the minority of the committee was filed by John Dalzell [Pa.]. It said in part:
The minority of the Committee on Ways and Means regret that the bill has been prosecuted by its advocates with such undue and precipitate haste that many of its features remain obscure and without explanation.
Up to the time when the President's message informed Congress that he had entered into a trade agreement with Canada, the House of Representatives—where all “bills raising revenue must originate under the Constitution—knew nothing about it. It is safe to say that no member of Congress had been consulted as to it or its terms.
By the terms of the bill four general classes of products are affected:
First. Leading food and agricultural products, rough lumber, some raw materials, and printing paper. These are put on the free list.
Second. Secondary food products, such as fresh and canned meats, flours, and partly manufactured food preparations, upon which rates are reduced and made identical,
Third. Manufactured commodities, such as motor vehicles, cutlery, sanitary fixtures, and miscellaneous articles, on which rates are mutually reduced.
Fourth. A small list of articles on which special rates are given by each country. Canada reduces the duty on coal and cement, and the United States reduces the duty on iron ore and aluminum products.
The bill revises our tariff law in part, involves millions of the national revenue, involves also our commercial relations with other nations, and comes to us to be voted on after a week's deliberation.
We protest against its passage for the following, among other, reasons:
(1) It renews a trade agreement with Canada similar to one that heretofore existed from 1854 to 1866, and the operation of which proved disastrous to the United States.
As a business proposition it is wholly indefensible. Advantages under it will accrue to Canada without any corresponding advantages to the United States. It is uncalled for by any great body of our people.
(2) It is un-Republican. It proposes reciprocity in competing products, which is absolutely inconsistent with the policy of protection. It is an abandonment of the protective policy. It is in violation of the history, the traditions, and the platforms of the Republican party.
(3) It is class legislation of the most obnoxious character. It selects from out all the classes of our community the farmer and deprives him of the protection accorded to all other classes. It compels him to produce in a free-trade market and to buy in a protected market. It is in the interest of the foreigner and against the American. The same undue haste that has characterized the treatment of this bill here seems to have prevailed also in the Canadian Parliament.
A new definition is sought to be given to the term protection. It is said not to apply as between parties whose production is substantially similar, and then it is asserted that Canadian production and American are substantially the same. The assertion is not borne out by the facts. The average of Canadian wages is below that of American wages. The value of Canadian lands is below the value of American lands. The Canadian gets his raw material from abroad at a lower import duty than does the American. He prefers others to us at the custom house. The Canadian manufacturer of metals is paid a bounty. An exhaustive investigation by the Mann committee into the pulp and paper question demonstrated that by reason of lower wage rates Canadians can make paper $2 a ton cheaper than we can. The same conditions that relate to wage rates in paper manufacture prevail all along the line.
Robert F. Broussard [La.] filed a separate report.
As a Democrat I wish to add to the report that I agree with almost everything urged except that the statement that the bill is un-Republican is not nearly so accurate as the further statement that it is also un-Democratic and absolutely un-American.
The bill came up for discussion on February 13.
THE COMMERCIAL TREATY WITH CANADA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, FEBRUARY 13 AND 14, 1911
Ebenezer J. Hill [Conn.] supported the bill.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the House of Representatives, a protective-tariff policy presupposes reciprocity and trade agreements. A free-trade policy has nothing to give in return for concessions, and hence nothing to gain from them.
Since the Republican party was organized and while it has been in power there never has been a time but that reciprocal agreements with other countries have been in operation, and President Taft stands to-day in full harmony with Lincoln, Grant, McKinley, Roosevelt, and all of his illustrious predecessors with regard to that principle.
Under reciprocity trade between Hawaii and this country flourished to the great advantage of both, until by the logic of events the islands became a part of this nation.
Under reciprocity our trade with Cuba has more than doubled.
Under free trade with Porto Rico, which met with a storm of denunciation when first proposed, but which William McKinley declared to be our "plain duty," our trade with that island has increased nearly fifteenfold.
Under reciprocal relations with the Philippine Islands, a territory containing a larger population than the Dominion of Canada, our mutual trade has grown in less than a single year 70 per cent.
In every one of these cases the proposition to enter upon such trade relations was met with prophecies of dire disaster to some existing industry in our own country.
In every case the prophecy has failed of fulfillment, and the new policy has resulted in mutual advantage to both parties.
A new proposition confronts us now—a reciprocal trade agreement in some of the natural products of two contiguous countries with a like character of population, with a climate and soil very similar to that of each other, and with forms of government differing in few essential features, affecting the productive and consuming power of either people. Indeed, both parties to this proposed agreement are under the protectivetariff system, and from my point of view both are likely to continue that policy in the future, the United States striving to apply the policy on the fixed principle of the difference in the cost of production at home and abroad as the true measure of its protection, and Canada supplementing its protective rate with direct aid from the Government in many of its industries.
I stand for this treaty as a whole, without any qualification and without any amendment, for, if I am rightly informed, it must be so considered and it must stand or fall as a single proposition, except with reference to the paper and pulp schedule, upon which no final conclusions were reached by the negotiators. If I could have my way, there are some things in it which I would change, and I have no criticism to make upon anyone who feels that the particular industries in which he is interested have not been cared for as he thinks they should have been. That feeling is but natural and is not confined to the United States, for I find by the perusal of the Canadian papers that the ratification of these proposals is looked upon by some citizens of Canada as absolutely destructive, not only to their agriculture, their fisheries, and their manufacturing, but also to the investments made by domestic and foreign capital in their railway systems and public improvements generally. So that we do not have in this country a monopoly of the timid ones, who look upon any change in the commercial relations of the two countries as a change for the worse, no matter how small or comparatively unimportant it may be.
This measure is a straightforward business arrangement for the reciprocal exchange of such articles as the representatives of both Governments believed, after most careful consideration, could be made with safety to each other and for the mutual advantage of both, and that would result in largely increased business transactions in other articles not directly affected or named in the agreement.
On February 14 Oscar W. Underwood [Ala.] spoke in favor of the bill.
Our Republican friends who wrote the Payne-Aldrich bill were so insistent that we should have a high tariff in this country and that no President, whoever he might be, should make any concessions from the high rates of taxation that they fixed that the President himself, under the law that he signed, has been driven to make a compact with Canada outside of the law to accomplish what was claimed could be accomplished when the law was originally written.
Now, the President, without warrant of law, has entered into an agreement with the Canadian Government-for what purpose! For the purpose of reducing taxes for the benefit of the American people. That is what this proposition is. It is not in the language that I would have written it, it is not in the language that many of you on this side of the House would have written it, but I want to say to you this, there is not one single item in this bill that does not reduce the taxes levied on the American people under the Payne law. The members of this House on