ADDRESS OF TIM HON. DR. W. H. MONTAGUE, FORMERLY DOMINION MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
Mr. President and Gentlemen,-
Before I say anything upon the subject which has been so well introduced by the distinguished visitor from the other side of the Line, I must congratulate you, Sir, and your Club upon the work which you are doing for Canada in not only discussing subjects of this kind but inviting from across the border eminent citizens whose visits here will not only result in teaching us many things which we at present do not know, but which will add to those bonds and ties of friendship and of sympathy which exist between the two peoples. I know something, Sir, of the hospitality and the generosity of American audiences in their greeting to Canadian visitors; and I was exceedingly pleased, Sir, that the members of this Club were not behind in their enthusiastic welcome to the distinguished gentleman who has come here upon an errand of friendship and who has delivered to us a very interesting address indeed.
We were just a little amused I fancy at some of the things which the kindly gentleman said. Perhaps amused that we had so long taken another view of the case; and one's own mistakes are always the most amusing when the ridiculous nature of those mistakes are exposed as they have been tonight. We had thought, I may tell our good friend from Massachusetts, that instead of getting, for instance, more than our share of the Columbia Valley we didn't get quite our share and we thought we ought to have got the State of Washington and that the boundary line should have been the great Columbia River; and we thought also we ought to have had the State of Maine. The question is now a serious question with us of a great Atlantic seaboard and we did think perhaps we lost a few acres in connection with the Alaskan question. But, we are generous because we are wealthy. We have forty times as much territory still, as I am sure Mr. Foss knows, as the great old Mother-land possesses in her little Island. We have enough to make one German Empire and leave fifteen German Empires behind; and we have just a little bit more, notwithstanding the decision of the Alaska Tribunal, than is possessed by that glorious Republic, and I use that phrase in its strongest sense, from which my Honourable friend comes to address us to-night.
The gentleman's address has been instructive in many ways, particularly, as a philosophic discussion of the question of Protection. With the bounding energy of youth, with the busy toil of middle age, men are not apt to spend time in philosophizing. But in the United States they have reached past the youth and past the middle age of great commercial development and now, perhaps, in the fullness of age as the result of protection, they may be permitted to philosophize. But we do not feel in this country that we have reached that old age of industrial development when we are prepared to drop the actual things and philosophize so calmly and so complacently as my Honourable friend has done tonight upon the subject.
I may tell him that I think I speak the sentiments of the Canadian people when I say to him that we have become a protective country. It is true it was a party question for many years, but I think, unquestionably, now the Canadian people may be said to be a people who have decided that they will work out their destiny along Canadian lines in their own way and that they will endeavour to strengthen and increase the force of every industry that is natural to our soil, that will employ our people and increase our industrial wealth. As to the question of whether we should suffer from the taking down of those bars, I say in all kindness that I think we have not reached the philosophic stage when we would like to try it. There is a story told of a gentleman who was absent from home and who received a telegram from one of his friends. " Your mother-in-law died this afternoon. Shall we embalm, cremate or bury?" And he answered that telegram, " Take no chances. Do all three." (Laughter.) And so, Sir, I think I speak the sentiment of our Canadian people when I say, notwithstanding all the truths of philosophy, we have come to the conclusion at last that we will take no chances in dealing with our great national industry, but build it up in our own way, as our best contribution to Imperial strength and as our best contribution to the civilization of the globe.
I am pleased to know that there are other countries where the sentiment of the Capital is not always the sentiment of the country. For my part I should like to be able to say to- my friend that the Ottawa political sentiment is not the sentiment of Canada. In fact, I don't think it is the sentiment of Toronto. Nevertheless I am bound to say that like my friend we have to suffer and be patient and be strong with the hope that some of these days the true and genuine sentiment of the country will find expression in the removal at Ottawa and at Washington of the people who differ from Mr. Foss and myself. However, Sir, upon this question upon which our good friend has spoken so well and so kindly tonight, I am not quite able to say that the sentiment seems in my judgment to be the sentiment of Canada. Recently, the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who in other days favoured, and favoured very strongly, a wide reciprocal arrangement with the United States, seems to have taken a firm Canadian position, and I am sure that Canadians, without regard to political feelings, will support him in that contention. Now, Sir, there is just one word, before I go on to say a few words upon the subject of Reciprocity, to which I should like to take a kindly objection. And I do not desire to do it in any unkindly spirit.
Our friend used only one word to which I think we could object. He asked us whether we were prepared to hold out our hand in a spirit of broad unanimity and kindness to the United States, or whether we should prefer the position of Provincial isolation. If he would change those words we shall agree with him and say that his address was perfect-if he would change those words of " Provincial isolation " to " National consolidation and Imperial unification," which is the policy of Canada. Of course, I suppose we will have to accept the fact that at the present time the people of the United States are the dominant factors upon the Continent of North America. If my memory serves me rightly they outnumber us to a considerable extent; but there is one thought I should just like to express. Of course I have to go back a good many years, and yet history repeats itself; I have to go back a good many years to get my illustration; but the older the wine the better, and the older the illustration the stronger. There was a time on the Continent of Europe when Greece and Rome were the dominant factors on that Continent, but, Sir, the dominant factors on the Continent of Europe today are the Northern people; and we are the northern people. We have the climate which gives, and has given in every age, the best sample of mind and of muscle, and which in every age has been the very hospitable home of freedom and of liberty. And we hope, though we may be hoping against fate, that history will repeat itself in this Continent; and I assure my friend, Mr. Foss, that if that time ever comes we shall treat the United States with the greatest generosity possible, as though they were still retaining their dominant position upon the Continent of America!
Now, Sir, I want to say a few words upon the subject of Reciprocity, as I believe, expressive of the sentiment of the Canadian people. It is a delicate position to be in to discuss a question which a good-natured, kindly and able visitor has discussed from the other side of the Line; and so instead of discussing it off-hand, if you will permit me, I should like to read a few words which I said upon the subject at the Fitchburg (Mass.) Chamber of Commerce a- few weeks ago, when I had no knowledge of Mr. Foss coming to this Empire Club, and a stenographic report of which I have before me at the present time, and, therefore, what I may have said in that speech cannot possibly be taken as an unkind criticism of what was said by Mr. Foss so well here to-night.
The history of Reciprocity between the United States and Canada is to us as old as the history of the Dominion. It is a history full of the records of disappointments and failures in one direction; equally full of successes and triumphs in another direction. Disappointments and failures by reason of the futility of our efforts to secure it; success and triumphs because of the victories which we have won in other directions, and in other avenues to which our attention and our energies have been turned. May I recall to you today some of the pages of that history, because it appears to me it is essential to a thorough understanding of our attitude upon the matter at the present date. After six years of effort a Reciprocity Treaty was concluded in 1854 between the United States and the then British Provinces of North America. That treaty was abrogated by you in 1866.
It is interesting and instructive to recall some of the effects which were produced by it and some of the results which flowed from it. The interchange of traffic between the two countries increased from $33,000,000 it, 1853 to $84,000,000 in 1866. Clearly, however, the results of the Treaty, so far as they were understood by you, were not satisfactory to you, but I am inclined to think, and indeed I think I am justified by the record in thinking so, that your dissatisfaction arose largely from a want of correct information with regard to its effects. Perhaps, however, your dissatisfaction with it was also to a large extent due to the rising tide of protection that was then taking hold of the people. An official Memorandum was prepared in 1874 by one of the British Plenipotentiaries, and that Memorandum, I fancy, is now on file in your State Department at Washington. The statistics therein contained with regard to the results of the Elgin Treaty were collated from your own public records, were submitted to your representatives and thoroughly examined by the officers of your Departments, and when this had all been done their correctness was cordially and freely admitted.
From the figures of that Memorandum I gleaned that the traffic between Canada and the United States increased year by year in volume. In 1853 it was $20,000,000, in 1854. it was $33,000,000, in 1863 it was $85,000,000, in 1866 it was $84,000,000; but it is important to enquire whether the increase was made in exports from your country or in imports to it. Let me answer that question once more with the statistics in the Memorandum. There is some slight difference between the figures from our Trade Returns and yours, but taking either side of the statistics the balance of trade during the time when the Treaty was in operation was at least $20,000,000 against Canada and probably nearer $100,000,000. The gross trade between the two countries for the thirteen years was, according to your returns, $671,000,000 and according to our returns $630,000,000; large figures you will admit when it is remembered that
the British Provinces at that time contained a population of only 3,000,000 people.
It is important also to know what the nature of the trade was. So far as our purchases from you were concerned I find that no less than one hundred and fifty million of them were of foreign products, $8,500,000 worth of timber, $24,000,000 worth of miscellaneous articles and no less than $150,000,000 worth of general merchandise, a sum to which no other country approached in those years. Indeed, Sir, if you will consult your trade and navigation returns for that period you will find that during the thirteen years of the Treaty's operation our purchases from you were greater than the purchases made by China, Brazil, Italy, Hayti, Russia and her possessions, Venezuela, Austria, the Argentine Republic, Denmark and her possessions, Turkey, Portugal and her possessions, the Sandwich Islands, the Central American States and Japan, all put together. In another way, Sir, the Treaty was an important factor. You had in 1862 over 203,000 tons of shipping engaged in the St. Lawrence fisheries and 28,000 seamen, and the cash returns for that year considerably exceeded $14,000,000.
Take, now, the figures three years after the repeal of the Reciprocity Treaty which deprived the United States fishermen of the shore privileges enjoyed under that Treaty. The United States tonnage in that trade had fallen from $203,000 tons in the year 1862, to $62,000 tons in 1869. Take the years afterwards when these privileges under the Washington Treaty were restored to you and you will find that the tonnage always rapidly increased again. Notwithstanding, Sir, that we believe, as our discussions in our Canadian Parliament show, that the Treaty was of more advantage to you than to us, still we were anxious for its renewal because we were just then entering into Confederation and had many difficult problems to face and, besides, we had not then sought out other markets. Consequently the Coalition Ministry which had been formed for the purpose of carrying Confederation, made strong efforts for the renewal of the Elgin Treaty. So strong were those efforts that the Hon. George Brown, who was a Liberal, and the leader of the Liberal party of Canada, and had joined the Coalition Ministry in order to consolidate the Provinces, resigned because he felt that Canada was being demeaned by the course pursued by his colleagues in that regard. Allow me to quote from a speech which he made in the Senate of Canada and which explains his position upon that question, and which, at the same time, shows how far Canada went. Speaking in the Senate in 1875 Mr. Brown said:
I resigned from the Government because I felt very strongly that although we in Canada derived great advantage from the Treaty of 1854, the American people derived still greater advantage from it. I had no objection to the Treaty and I am quite ready to renew it or even to extend it largely in future in terms of reciprocity, but I was not willing to ask for a renewal of it as a favour to Canada; I was not willing to offer special inducements without future concessions in return; I was not willing that the canals and inland waters of Canada should be made the joint property of Canada and the United States and be maintained at their joint expense; I was not willing that the Customs and Excise duties of Canada should be assimilated to the prohibitory rates of the United States; and, very especially, was I unwilling that any such arrangement should be entered into with the United States dependent on the frail tenure of reciprocal legislation, repealable at any moment, by the caprice of either party.
These expressions from the leader of the Liberal party show how far the Government of that day were prepared to go and how generous they were in their offers to you; but generous as were their terms, their offers were refused. Several efforts were made between '66 and '69. In 1869 negotiations were opened in July and they extended to March, 1870 A project was actually submitted and that project included the cession for a term of years of our Fisheries to the United States and the enlargement by us and the enjoyment by you of our canals. The free enjoyment of the navigation of the River St. Lawrence and the assimilation of our Customs and Excise duties, the concession of an Import duty equal to the Internal Revenue of the United States, and the free admission into their country of certain manufactures of the other in addition to agricultural products.
Once more, Sir, these propositions, generous in their nature, wide and inclusive in their scope, offering many things of advantage, and of great advantage, to the United States, were rejected.
Then, Sir, I come to the time of the negotiation of the Washington Treaty of 1871. Upon the Commission which concluded this Treaty the Rt. Hon. Sir John Macdonald, for a great many years leader of the Conservative party in Canada and the founder of our National Policy, was one of the British Plenipotentiaries. In connection with these negotiations the British Commissioners asked for the settlement of the Inshore Fishery matter upon the basis of a renewal of the Treaty of 1854. Other concessions were also offered but the propositions were declined. But arising out of that Treaty you will remember that a Board of Arbitration was appointed to report upon the value of our Fisheries which, under the Washington Treaty, had for the time being been turned over to your use. When that Board of Arbitration was about to meet the Government of Canada conceived it to be the proper time once more to approach your Government for the purpose of, if possible, increasing the trade between the two countries, and the Hon. George Brown was appointed by Canada to open up negotiations upon that subject. The project of a treaty was prepared which formed the basis of discussion, and you will be struck, I am sure, with the generosity of the offer made by Canada at that time when I read you the proposition we then offered for the renewal of the Treaty of 1854 'on a twenty-one year basis
First. That the Fishery Arbitration provisions of the Washington Treaty should be abandoned, and that meant the offer of $5,000,000 in cash, because you afterwards paid us $5,000,000 upon the Halifax Award in that connection.
Second. We offered that the Welland and St. Lawrence Canals should at our expense be enlarged forthwith and that you should have the use of them.
Third. We offered that we would even construct a new Canal, Caughnawaga, from Lake Champlain to the River St. Lawrence which, when you had constructed the Whitehall Canal and improved the River Hudson, would have given you a waterway from New York to the base of the great grainbearing prairies of the West.
Fourth. We offered also that there should be included in the Treaty the following articles: Agricultural implements, extracts for tanning purposes, bath brick, brick for building purposes, hay, lime, malt, manufactures of iron and steel, manufactures of iron, steel and wood, manufactures of wood, straw, stone, marble, etc. A considerable list, the value of which many of you will, I am sure, appreciate.
Fifth. We asked also that there should be reciprocal registration of ships and reciprocity in the issuing of patents.
Now, I want to ask you, Sir, and to ask this great audience of mercantile men, whether you do not think that Canada was generous and more than generous in her proposals; and yet she met with the same result, with the same answer, with the same refusal. After the attempts of the Government in 1875, practically, the agitations for Reciprocity ceased to be a leading factor in our politics. The effect of the refusals was that Canadians came to be stronger in their national and industrial life and it became apparent to us that what had seemed to us at the time to have been a serious blow to our prospects was really a boon, for we reached out for other markets and secured them. But the step which we took in 1879 had' a still more important effect in lessening the sentiment in favour of a treaty. It was a policy of Protection, a policy in defence of our industries, and those industries began immediately to flourish and extend to such an extent that the value of our home market became more and more apparent to the people.
Nevertheless, when the Fishery Treaty of 1881 was being negotiated, once more the subject of Reciprocity was broached by our representatives and a proposal made that the Fishery difficulty should be settled upon that basis. No details were given as to what Canada's offer would probably be. The language employed by Sir Charles Tupper in describing his efforts in that direction led Parliament, however, to believe that a broad offer in general terms had been made. I now pass on to 1891 when once more negotiations were opened up, three or four members of the Canadian Cabinet being present in Washington for that purpose. Mr. Blaine was then your Secretary of State, and the report of our Commissioners was that the demand made by your Government was such that, had it been acceded to, we should have been compelled to give you terms which were stopped at your demand from extension to the Motherland. This we had a perfect right to do if we wished to do it, but, Sir, no sentiment in Canada existed then, or exists now, which would justify any Government in acceding to any such request. I mention this fact particularly because I know there exists in some parts of the United States misapprehension upon that point. Canada is absolutely free to do as she likes in every way in connection with her tariff legislation.
Thus, Sir, have I gone over the many and various efforts made by the Dominion for a better basis of trade between the two countries. I should add that in 1879 when we put our National Policy upon the Statute Book we placed therein a clause in the following words " Any or all of the following articles, that is to say animals, of all kinds, green fruit, hay, straw, bran, seeds of all kinds, vegetables (including potatoes and other roots), plants, trees and shrubs, coal and coke, salt, hops, wheat, peas, and beans, barley, rye, oats, Indian corn, buckwheat and all other grain, flour of wheat and flour of rye, Indian meal and oatmeal, and flour or meal of any other grain, butter, cheese, fish (salted or smoked) lard, tallow, meats (fresh, salted, or smoked) and lumber, may be imported into Canada free of duty, or at a less rate of duty than is provided by this Act, upon proclamation of the Governor-in-Council, which may be issued whenever it appears to his satisfaction that similar articles from Canada may be imported into the United States free of duty or at a rate of duty not exceeding that payable on the same, under such Proclamation, when imported into Canada."
Thus was placed upon our Statute books a standing offer for Reciprocity in a considerable line of articles. You have from time to time placed articles included in this list upon the free list and we have reciprocated by placing them in the free list of our tariff. We found, however, that (perhaps accidentally) you were inclined to select articles which would be advantageous to you and to leave out those in which reciprocal trade would be advantageous to us, and besides we found that occasionally there was the show of reciprocity but not the reality. For instance, while you admitted our peaches free you put a duty on the basket, and while your Federal Government admitted our nursery stock free, we found that the separate States, exercising their rights, imposed handicaps upon our nurserymen. In Dakota a large market bond ($5,000) had to be deposited with the State Government before any agent could sell there any Canadian fruit trees, and in the State of New York, I think, a large agency license was imposed, and these things practically made the action of your Federal Government inoperative to our advantage. I believe, Sir, that the many refusals of the United States to negotiate were due largely to a want of appreciation, an appreciation to which I believe you are now awakening, in the value of our Canadian markets.
It is true, Sir, that there were some men and some newspapers upon your side of the Line which indiscreetly said: " Let us refuse to grant Canada Reciprocity, and she will shortly be knocking for admission politically into our Union." Sir, no more unwise words could have been said. They were not said, and I am glad they were not said, by those in authority. The Canadian people are a hardy, plucky and determined people. They are the descendants, in part, of those grand old explorers, Hennepin, LaSalle, and Verandrye who, westward, with indomitable perseverance and energy carried the torch of civilization; in part of the hardy immigrant pioneers who hewed out their homes in the wilderness; in part of the Canadian Empire Loyalists who left their happy homes and smiling fields upon this side of the Line and began life anew amid a thousand difficulties, rather than desert the flag which their mothers loved and for which their fathers had died; and to the descendants of those men such words as I have quoted meant only that they redoubled their energies and intensified their determination to stand independent and alone, and the result, Sir, was the very opposite of what those who uttered them may have expected.
We reached out for markets in other parts of the world. We reached out to the great consuming market of Great Britain. Let me quote you some figures which show you how we succeeded. Canada sold to the United States, in 1866, $25,000,000 of agricultural products,-in 1902 she sold $7,000,000 of agricultural products to you. In 1867 she sold to Great Britain $3,000,000 of agricultural products; in 1903 she sold to Great Britain $79,000,000 of agricultural products; and each year, in every variety of product, Canada has established herself even more and more successfully in the markets of Great Britain. I am sure, Sir, that I need not hesitate to say that your farmers upon this side of the Line have found us a formidable rival in its markets. She has also established, as I have already told you, her markets at home. We have long since learned that our home market is our best market. We raise altogether $500,000,000 of agricultural products a year; of that $400,000,000 worth are consumed at home, and only $100,000,000 worth exported, and we recognize, Sir, that if we are to become great as a people, that if we are ever to settle profitably the great plains of our West, we must do this more and more. We cannot even depend upon the British market as the consumer of our products. In the next few years we shall be sending abroad 125,000,000 bushels of wheat or its equivalent. When our soil is all under cultivation we shall probably be shipping 800,000,000 bushels of wheat or its equivalent per year and, as Great Britain consumes at best per annum only 175,000,000 to 200,000,000 bushels we recognize that we must look elsewhere, and the judgment of our people is that we must look chiefly and mostly to the great consuming masses who are and will be, in ever-increasing numbers, manufacturing for our farmers in the West.
And now, Sir, what is the result of all our negotiations? A study of the conditions that exist in Canada today as well as upon your side of the Line shows that we recognize that no longer are you a great market for us. Your fields have been developed and you are supplying your own artisans, and with what you have to spare you are competing with us in the markets of the world. I see that Mr. Voss says that our wheat is needed by the mills of Minneapolis. But we know as well as Mr. Voss does why our wheat is needed by the mills of Minneapolis. Is it needed because you are not receiving sufficient wheat to supply your own wants? No, Sir, but it is needed because the wheat of the North-West of Canada makes the best flour in the world, and your mills, in order to make the standard of your flour which you export as high as possible, use a certain admixture of Canadian wheat; and this is why you are permitting Canadian wheat to come into this country to be ground in bond, the product of it being shipped abroad and not entering into competition with your home article. It is a high compliment to us, Sir, but it is not evidence that there is a market in this country for the surplus products of the farms of Canada and, besides, may I say that we are Canadians, even if to be a Canadian is a little selfish. The more Canadian wheat is used the higher standard your exported flour reaches and, candidly, let me ask you a question. Would it not be better for us to ship our own manufactured flour? Would it not be better for us to employ our own mills and our own people? And that, Sir, is undoubtedly our policy as a Dominion. As our rapidly-growing milling concerns indicate, we have 2,500 milling industries, some of which will grind 300 barrels per day, very many Zoo barrels per day. Their output increased from $39,000,000 in 1871 to $80,000,000 in 1903.
Let me give you some more figures, which will indicate to you that Canada does not look with longing eves, as she once did, to your market for her products. Of grain and breadstuffs sold in 1903 to the markets of the world, amounting to $41,000,000, you purchased of us $1,320,000 worth. Of $10,000,000 worth of cattle you bought only $120,000 worth; of butter, eggs, and cheese, out of $46,000,000 worth you purchased only $77,000 worth; and of $5,000,000 worth of fruit shipped out of her own domain you bought only $220,000 worth. Out of her large quantity of meats of the kind sold in the markets of the world during 1902 and 1903 she sold you only 992,000 pounds, while we purchased from you 29,550,000 pounds. I am sure that I need not say to you that these are startling figures. Even more startling are the other figures that, taking the total trade as between the two countries, the facts are that each Canadian family buys nearly 40 times as much of United States products of all kinds as each United States family buys of Canadian products.
That there is an agitation in favour of Reciprocity in Massachusetts may be taken for granted, but why has that agitation sprung up? Let Mr. Foss explain. I quote from his speech made in Minneapolis: " Our manufacturers have been too busy to give much effort or thought to the subject, but from now on, for a period, times will not be so flush, there will be less business and more time for thought, there will be fewer words and more effort to think. This will turn attention to Reciprocity which promises to open foreign markets." In other words, Sir, the anxiety is for markets for your manufactures. This is not disguised, nor would it be possible to disguise the fact that that is why Reciprocity is being agitated here. I listened with a very great deal of pleasure to your Vice-President Elect, the Hon. Mr. Fairbanks, who delivered a splendid speech at the Home Market Club, and what did Mr. Fairbanks say upon the subject of Reciprocity? He said, in effect, that it was the desire of the Government of the United States to extend trade wherever the extensions could be made without injury to American industries.
Sir, we are anxious to extend trade in Canada, but we are anxious to extend it only by means which will not injure our Canadian industries, and we will not injure or destroy our Canadian industries, which have become such an important part of our national make-up, for the advantages of trade in any part of the world. Let me say to you and say unhesitatingly, that Canada does not dream of opening up her industries to the keen and destructive competition of the United States or of any other country. It is true a larger trade may be done with you. There are many things we need to buy from you upon which we may lower the duty; there are many things which you need to purchase from us and you can facilitate the purchase by lowering your duties. And besides, all hope is past, Sir, and I say it most emphatically, of any arrangement which would tie Canada's hands for the future and render her incapable of maintaining her own industries at home or of entering into advantageous arrangements with other parts of the world.
There was a time when you could have had the market of Canada upon terms which I have already quoted. You were then a giant slumbering in the mountains of your own prosperity and indifference. I, tell you honestly that you slumbered too long. Canada is now so busy herself that she does not hear you knocking at her door for wider trade. There is no political party in Canada today agitating for Reciprocity. In the late Dominion elections where 400 and more Canadians contested constituencies and appealed for public favour, I did not hear of one whose platform was Reciprocity. No leader spoke upon the subject in the campaign and indeed it was not mentioned except when here and there some one expressed thankfulness that the proposals made in the past had not been accepted.
The Shareholder, an independent financial journal in the great City of Montreal, which is not allied with either political party, in its last issue, in the words which I quote, expresses the real and genuine sentiments of the people of the Dominion. Here are the words: " We believe that so far as the people of the Dominion are concerned any proposition relating to extended trade relations between the two countries should be rejected. The cost of any advantage we could possibly gaip from Reciprocity would be more than it is worth." You gentlemen who read the Toronto Globe (in my opinion a very poor paper), will see in it this morning practically a re-affirming of what I have just quoted from the Shareholder. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Prime Minister of Canada, some time ago declared that " Canada no longer desired Reciprocity." He also said: "Well, we have tried to get Reciprocity. We have approached the United States. We will approach them no more. They will now if they want it approach us. We shall receive them politely."
Need I tell you that Reciprocity is incompatable with Canadian aspirations for a consolidated Empire on trade lines; as it now exists on lines of sentiment. Canada is anxious, and anxious with hope, that the grand scheme of colonial and preferential trade so ably being battled for by Mr. Chamberlain will succeed. We hold these views without hostility to you, but we hold them strongly and we look forward to the time when we, upon our products in the market of Great Britain, will receive better terms than you do. The desire for the consummation of that grand scheme of Imperial breadth is, we admit, partly due to the material advantages which we may derive from it, but let me tell you also that as members of the Empire we are anxious for it for broader and still better reasons. This plan of Imperial and Colonial union is, I have said, conceived in no hostility to you-no hostility to any nation under the sun. With the people of the Mother-land we are kith and kin; between us is the electric current of common Empire and common Imperial aspirations.
In the open field we have both met the severe and stern competition of the trading nations of the globe. We are natural customers of each other, and in addition we are bound by ties of political union. Would you not expect us to consolidate in defence of trade as we would consolidate in the defence of attack? Besides, all our efforts in Canada have been towards a United Empire. We were the prime movers, and among the heaviest contributors, in the Pacific Cable, which puts us practically within speaking distance of the great British Colonies in the Antipodes and ties Australia to us and to England by another and an important tie. I have heard it said that this plan of Mr. Chamberlain is one that is to be imposed upon the Colonies. In this policy action is taken at the request of the Colonies, as the resolution passed at the Conference of the Empire by the Colonial Premiers attests. It is our plan, for ourselves, for the Empire.
May I say one word as to a certain opinion which was recently expressed in the Boston Herald. I do not believe that the opinion there expressed emanated from any responsible party, rather would I believe that it emanated from some one who was irresponsible and unthinking. The opinion is expressed in these words
" But the indications are that the awakening of American statesmen has come, the contest is on, and the grand prize is Canada, nominally commercial Canada, but actually the political Dominion." Sir, I should be less than a Canadian if I did not, for my own people, resent this expression of opinion. What would you think of Canadians, of their national pride, of their patriotism, if that did not stir them to the core? Supposing tomorrow a country 20 times the size of yours in population, in wealth, in strength, made any such proposal as the one I have quoted, what would be your answer? Sir, it would stir to intensity every fibre of your being. You would sing " My Country, 'tis of Thee " with still greater energy than you have sung it tonight. You would raise the Stars and Stripes, the flag you love, still higher and nearer to the blue. You would light the fires of patriotism upon every elevated spot from Bunker's Hill to the Golden Gate, and by the memory of all the great heroes whose fame is found recorded in the pages of your national history, from Washington to McKinley, you would swear anew allegiance to the flag you love. Sir, in the cheers with which you greet my words is to be found the answer of Canada, for Canada is British, her people are British, her hopes are British, and she believes it to be her duty to contribute her influence, be it great or be it small, towards the perpetuation for all time of British institutions upon the Continent of America.
One thought more. If tomorrow Canada were to consent to change all her plans, desert her claims of trade which have cost her so much to secure, give up her hold upon the markets which she now has, and join with you; what would you guarantee her in the way of permanency? Nothing at all. When all our lines are down again, when the course of our commerce at your request has been changed, when we have deserted old friends for new ones, then some fine morning we should probably awaken to find that, as in 1866, our market with you had ceased; only it would be more serious now than then, because in the meantime our industries would have been ruined. And, to the end of perpetuating institutions here it is our desire-yea, more, our determination-to built a great auxiliary British nation upon the northern half of this Continent. What are our materials?
1. There are a quarter million square miles of territory, one-third of the British Empire, a territory larger than your own.
2. Institutions as free as any under which men live today.
3. A system of education which prepares alike the poor and the rich for the duties of citizenship and the occupations of life.
4. Minerals in abundance; hundreds of square miles of coal yet untouched; in addition to our present areas which are being operated.
5. Gold in almost every Province, our production last year being second among the nations to that of your country and Australia.
6. Nickel, admittedly the richest deposits that are known.
7. Timber, majestic forests that yielded in 1903 a harvest of $80,000,000. In pulp wood, alone, our statisticians estimate that we have sufficient to make 4,500,000,000 tons of pulp which, at the present rate of consumption of the United States and Great Britain, could supply them for half a thousand years.
8. We are now sending you 1,000,000 cords per year but we are strongly inclined to adopt such a policy as shall manufacture this at home by the labour of our own people.
9. Agricultural lands! There lies an empire in itself, 265,000,000 acres yet to be ploughed, each acre rich with the accumulated fertility of the centuries.
10. Fisheries, of coast and river and lake, that yielded last year over $35,000,000 of treasure, and that offer the very best training and recruiting ground for the Navy.
11. Almost countless water powers that are being harnessed as the servants and handmaidens of industry.
12. Nineteen thousand miles of railway with probably eleven thousand miles more to follow within the coming decade.
13. Six million of people hardy, intelligent, Godfearing.
14. A climate that produces strong muscle, and healthy brains, and that makes the home life the main foundation of our nation, vigorous, strong and pure.
These, Sir, are our possessions! These are the possessions that lie at the bottom of our determination to build a nation. These, Sir, together with a history of creditable progress, are our reasons for looking upon Canada as a young giant scarcely conscious of his own strength, rising to enter the Olympian game of the nations. A game into which we are bound he shall enter with his hands unmanacled, with his feet untied by entangling alliances, for the struggle and the race. These are the things that have fired us with the spirit of a song which once rang through your land in a trying time
For-the birthright yet unsold For the history yet untold ! For the future yet unfurled ! Put it through !