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advanced, and progressed in a way that was never dreamed of before in the history of the country.
To-day we are taking another step in the same direction. We are reducing the scale of duties upon a larger number of things that are imported into and exported from Canada. For the first time in the history of this country we have a say, a voice, in the arrangement of the American tariff. It is a tribute to this country that we have reached that stage of progress and advancement in which our great American neighbors find that we are a people to be reckoned with, and they come to us and ask us to barter and to treat in the adjustment of their own tariff, as we are doing in the adjustment of our own. Is this an occasion for Canadians to feel humility? Is this an occasion for Canadians to feel lack of confidence in their country and in their nation! No, this is one of the greatest tributes Canada has ever received at the hands of a foreign land.
In doing that we are accepting the right hand of fellowship which was held out to us a year ago, and I believe that we were not only wise, but that we were right in doing that instead of inviting the big stick of the maximum, non-intercourse item of the Payne-Aldrich tariff.
What is the condition to-day of international affairs the world over? We see overtures being made by one nation and another in favor of closer relations, amity, and friendship. Our great American neighbor has made a proposal to the head of the British Empire for a general treaty of arbitration, a step in favor of peace and good-will upon earth such as has never been known before in the history of the world. We have seen the foreign office in England, in the words of that great statesman, Sir Edward Grey, welcoming this overture from the American nation. We have heard the universal pæan, the cry of admiration, that has gone up from the friends of peace the world over, that the two great Anglo-Saxon nations are in favor of universal peace. Seeing them join hands, are you men who are trying to decry this reciprocity arrangement prepared to invite Canada to block this advance step toward an entente between America and the British Empire !
I appeal to you people here in the great city of Montreal, the great commercial center which has been built up and developed in its industrial production and its commercial interests by the tariff policy of Mr. Fielding and the Liberal Government to believe that in the future, as in the past, we will guard your interests while we are doing what is necessary in the interest of the other parts of the Dominion and of every class in the Do
minion. That has been the keynote of the Liberal policy—the lowering of the tariff, and the maintenance of industry. We can do this as we did it in 1897. We reduced the duties to a moderate level, while at the same time maintaining and increasing the revenue. Today we are giving an increased market to the farmers of Canada, moderating the exclusive tariff of the United States against our products, and at the same time safeguarding the industrial and commercial interests of the country. You people are afraid; you believe that we cannot do what the Tories have failed to do. We have shown you that we were able to do it in the past, we know that we can do it in the future, and it is our determination, with the backing and support of the people of Canada to carry this as a crown to the glorious work that Sir Wilfrid Laurier has done not only for Canada but for the empire and the world.