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gret and afterward perhaps of resentment, at what we regarded as unfair treatment. Then we ceased to look to Washington for reciprocity. It was not because reciprocity had ceased to be desirable, but because we saw no indication that we would get it. The economic facts did not change, and if reciprocity was a desirable thing in 1897 it was equally desirable in the year 1898 and so on for the intervening years.
Does my friend over there think that since 1897 the conditions in Canada changed so much that we did not need reciprocity!
THE VOICE.—Hear, hear.
MR. FIELDING.—Then, what he means to say is that reciprocity was needed desperately when the Tories were in power, but when the bright sun of prosperity came under Liberal rule Canada did not need reciprocity. (Cheers.]
Then we are told that this reciprocity agreement came as a great shock to the country; it was a bolt from the blue; everybody was astonished. Well, let us again see what the facts are. Just one year ago there were some negotiations at Washington. It would occupy too much time to explain just how the difficulty of that time arose, but we had some negotiations with the United States and we turned a very uncomfortable corner and brought happiness to the great mass of business people in Canada, who had been very much alarmed. At that time, arising out of these negotiations, the President of the United States through his Secretary of State declared that it was his desire that we should enter into negotiations for reciprocal trade arrangements. The government of Canada replied that they were glad to find the Americans in a better frame of mind, and that we would be very happy to discuss the question with them. Now, mark, if that was all wrong, if we did not need reciprocity, if that was a disloyal proceeding, why did not our good friends of the Conservative party meet us right there and say: "No, you must not do it, we do not want reciprocity.” What happened? The arrangement we have had made at Washington—not for reciprocity, but that which has been called the foundation of these later proceedings—was adopted by a unanimous vote in the House of Commons. To-day there are men who will come on the platform and tell you that it was a bad arrangement. What a great pity it is that we cannot be as wise in advance as we are when we look behind!
At the opening of Parliament in November, 1910, a passage was inserted in the speech from the throne stating that we were carrying on these negotiations and that we hoped they might result in success. Was anybody shocked then? No. That was the time to be alarmed if there was any cause for alarm, but instead of that we found that members of the House on the Conservative side were disposed to say that it would be a very good thing if we could make a satisfactory statement, but that they did not think we could succeed. (Cheers and laughter.] But we did succeed, and that was the “shock” to our Conservative friends.
Mr. Fielding then turned to the anti-reciprocity argument of the danger of interfering with the present prosperity of Canada.
Very ugly things are said just now about reciprocity. But the worst is not so bad as what Sir Charles Tupper said about the tariff policy of the Laurier Government when it was first introduced. If after a few years the Conservatives can forget all the ugly things they said, and can now come before a public meeting, and say: “We take it all back, the tariff policy of the government is lovely, and the country is prospering splendidly”; don't you think I have the right to expect that in about five or six years hence there will be a meeting in this hall and some good Conservative will tell you about the blessings of reciprocity and say that everything is lovely!
Now, this reciprocity agreement is chiefly confined to natural products, to the very things that were in the standing offer of the Conservative party for some years. If the public men of Canada, Liberal and Tory alike, for fifty years have not been fools, reciprocity in natural products is a good thing for this country. (Cheers.] But what about the manufactures ?
the manufactures? This agreement should show to every intelligent manufacturer who reads it that manufacturing interests were carefully guarded. [Applause.] It is on public record-Mr. Taft, President of the United States, stated it in a speech a week ago—that his instructions to his commissioners were to offer Canada free trade in manufactures. I have no doubt he gave these instructions, but they never made a formal proposal of that character. They never were permitted to get near enough for that purpose. (Cheers. We told them frankly at the beginning that in the matter of natural products we could meet them on even terms, but we said: “When it comes to manufactures we have to be more careful; we frankly admit that with your greater capital and your specialized organizations you are more than the equals of us in your manufacturing power, and we are not prepared to make a treaty with you including any wide range of manufactured goods. [Cheers.]
But it is said there are some manufactures on the list. Take up the whole list of free manufactures that you find in that agreement and you will discover that they are already in every case, or nearly so, free in Canada, and the only change made is that we are getting them free into the United States. How can that hurt us ?—surely we are no worse off.
The manufacturers are not hurt; they are more frightened than hurt. [Applause.) I give it to you as my opinion,, worth much or worth little, that, if by the forces of the manufacturers this agreement be destroyed, there will grow up in the Western country a feeling that will be dangerous to the manufacturing interests of Canada and dangerous to the welfare of this Dominion. [Applause.)
It is urged very strongly that if we give free trade in agricultural products we cannot help giving free trade in manufactures. Now, to begin with, if that argument is used by a Conservative, it is a severe arraignment of the national policy, be cause the national policy, in the same act which established high protective duties, gives a standing offer of reciprocity in natural products. It is reasonable to suppose that when you put the farmer's products on the free list you do not sacrifice him, you satisfy him. He is asking you to have free trade in natural products, because, although there may be some little disadvantage locally, he knows he gets compensation in the larger markets of the United States. But that is not so with the manufacturer. With the great power and capital and specialized organization of the Americans they can, as a rule, beat us in manufacture. And if we were to have free trade in manufactures we would undoubtedly close up many of the factories of Canada. Well, we want factories in Canada. (Cheers. We have guarded them in the past. (Cheers.] You manufacturers were told by the Conservatives in 1897 that if you trusted your fate to the Liberal Government dreadful things would happen. Did they happen? To-day you are teeming with prosperity as you see. Trust us again. (Cheers.]
Just a few words more and I will close.
Annexation! Is it not a scandal and a shame that our opponents should talk annexation! I read the other day a headline in the Montreal Star to a cable from England
A VOICE.-Sorry you had nothing better to do.
MR. FIELDING.—It was a scare headline and it caught my eye. [Laughter.] It read: “Annexation hurts our issues," referring to the issues of securities in London. Now, if annexation hurts our issues who is responsible for it! The friends of reciprocity are not talking of annexation. (Hear, hear!] It is the opponents of reciprocity who are waving the flag-Heaven help us that the flag should be used for such a miserable purpose. (Cheers.) We are told that if we trade with the Americans we shall cease to be loyal; we are told that if we buy and sell with them we shall impair our loyalty. That's it, is it not?
SEVERAL VOICES.—That's it.
MR. FIELDING.—There comes back to my mind a memorable scene of my childhood days. It is the summer of 1860, nearly fifty-one years ago. All British America is astir with interest for the coming of the future King. The young Prince of Wales lands at Halifax. A procession is formed, and passes down through the streets. The housetops and windows are filled with loyal people, who with flag and wreath and loyal motto welcome the prince, while cheering thousands hail him as he passes along. Why do I recall this scene to-night! It is because that splendid demonstration of loyalty and devotion to the throne and person of our sovereign occurred in the very midst of the period of the old reciprocity treaty. (Cheers. We had bought from the Americans and we had sold to the Americans. We had traveled to and fro and met them in all the walks of commercial and social life. But it never occurred to anybody to say that we ceased to be loyal. The scene in my native city of Halifax was repeated throughout every province of this country. And then something else of interest happened. Friendly trade relations with the United States had brought about friendly relations in other respects. The young prince was asked to cross the border and visit the American people. He accepted the invitation and traveled through a large section of the American nation and received everywhere from the people the utmost respect. The prince returned to the Motherland to tell the story of the happiness, contentment, prosperity, and loyalty of the Queen's subjects in British America, and of their happy and friendly relations with the people of the great republic. History will repeat itself. There is a young prince to-day in training for his duties as our future King. He will come out to Canada one of these days, as his grandfather, Edward the Peacemaker, came. I trust he will come in the midst of the new period of reciprocity, and then he will be able to testify as his grandfather did: That the people of this country, trading though they are with the Americans, buying and selling and dealing with them, are nevertheless more devoted than ever to the throne and person of our gracious sovereign. [Cheers.]
Ralph Smith opposed the doctrine of Mr. Sifton that lumber should not be sent out of the country.
If we should not send lumber out of the country, then we should not send coal out of the country, and if we should not send coal and lumber out of the country we should not send fish out of the country. I am simply driving my friend, Mr. Sifton, to the logical conclusion of his argument; if it was reasonable to build a wall around Canada and say, Canada for Canadians," if that is his policy, then we will deteriorate as a nation. Why, there is no man that has goods to sell to-day in Canada that would not be glad to sell them to the United States or to any other foreign country if he could get a better price.
Now, I come to the coke industry. What is free coke going to do? What is the position of that industry now? It has been demonstrated within the last two years that the deposits of bituminous coal in British Columbia are the largest in the world. The deposits of coal in Alberta and British Columbia, in point of quality and quantity, are not equaled by those of any other nation on the earth. Are you not going to permit us to send our coal to the Yankee, if he wants it? We cannot live if you do not. British Columbia was exporting coal fifty years ago. Where did she send it? She sent it to San Francisco, and, if we could not have got it into the United States even against a high duty, there would have been no British Columbia in the Confederation in 1870 to pay the majority of the taxes for the Canadian people in 1911.
Now, what does that mean to British Columbia ? The State of Washington has absolutely no coal that can be manufactured into coke. As a result of taking the duty of one dollar a ton off coke, all the great foundries and smelters in the Western States are going to use our product and then we will practically have a monopoly of the great markets of the American West for British Columbia coke manufactured out of British Columbia coal by British Columbia labor at good wages.
Let me look for a minute at this agreement with reference to its effect upon the consumer. The consumer represents the great interest of this country. The argument has been put up by a few people-How are you going to increase the price to the