ADDRESS BY MR. R. J. YOUNG, SECRETARY, CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION, TORONTO.
Mr. President, Mr. Foss, and Members o f the Empire Club,
I shall not speak to you very long tonight because the hour is late and many of you have perhaps been detained longer than you expected. I am sure, however, that the time has not seemed long, and that we have listened with the deepest interest to all of the addresses which have been delivered. The address of Mr. Foss, I am sure, none of us can help but appreciate. He has given to us the views of the American manufacturers, to a certain extent his own. He has given to us what we are pleased to learn from his lips to be the sentiment of the people of the great Republic to the south. I am sure we can agree with him to-night that if we are not to have reciprocity of goods between Canada and the United States we can at least have reciprocity of brains, which after all tends toward the settlement of those greater questions which stand on a higher plane than trade or commerce.
It is an evidence of this kindly sentiment which exists in the United States that he, the acknowledged leader of the Reciprocity movement in the United States, is here to-night in the Empire Club of Canada-a Club which stands for Imperial Unity between Great Britain and her Colonies-and I am sure if Mr. Foss had done nothing else than come and join with us in the repast which we have had to-night; if we had seen nothing more of him than the beam of his kindly face; we would have had a better opinion of the splendid sentiment of the people to the south of us; and he also has perhaps learned something of the strong Canadian sentiment expressed by the eloquent address of Dr. Montague, and the soldierly speech of Colonel Denison. Now I think, Mr. Chairman, that there is little or nothing left for me to say. We are not here to listen to statistics. You have had some splendid examples of statistical information tonight; they have shown us the state of trade between Canada and the United States in the past; they have shown us the tendencies of Canadian trade in the last few years; that we have built our railways not from north to south but from east to west, that we have cultivated markets across the sea; for one reason that we find the great doors of the United States Republic with their consuming 80,000,000 of people closed to our small producing population.
Men are creatures of circumstance. Canada, like the United States, must be governed by her conditions, and I am sure it has been conclusively shown to Mr. Voss, and in a kindly spirit also, that the position of Canada today, with the vast resources which we have to develop, with the splendid ports which we have on both sides of us, and with the spirit of British integrity which pervades our people, warrants us in following the natural course of events and developing our own resources in the building up of a British-Canadian nation on the north half of this Continent. There is one remark with regard to the development of our industries that I would like to make. Mr. Foss, a manufacturer, assailing a policy of protection is, I must say, an exception. The manufacturers whom I meet, generally, are men who want protection, who believe in it, and why? Because they are fighting for their very existence in this country. The industries in the United States have long since passed the mark where they control their home market. They are sending goods to almost every market under the sun.
In Canada what are the conditions? It has a comparatively small manufacturing population, but looking over the vast manufacturing industries which are today competing with the cheap labour of Europe and with the highly specialized and over=producing industries of the United States, it is not fair to the people of Canada -and I am sure that unfairness will be recognized by the keen business men on the other side of the Line--to place before the people of this country a proposition with regard to reciprocity in lines where the conditions are absolutely different, and so divergent, that the two countries cannot be placed on the same plane. It is an undisputed fact, gentlemen, to me as one endeavouring to study the policy of protection and its effect on any market, that the very points of excellence which were noted by the visitors from Great Britain in connection with the iron and steel industries of the United States, the extent of that industry, the growing home market, the high wages; I say it i3 an undisputed fact that as we have applied protection in this country these are the very conditions which we have produced; and the growth of the industries in the United States is entirely due to the development and the adoption of the policy of protection in that country.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I just wish to say one word. Mr. Foss paid an eloquent tribute to the welding powers of the Anglo-Saxon race as such and I am sure that we must agree with him. We have, I hope, the kindliest feeling towards the United States people. He has told us they have the kindliest feelings towards us. It is not impossible that the relations existing between Canada and the United States may lead to a greater union. In paying a compliment to the welding powers of the Anglo-Saxon race we might point out to Mr. Foss that the great Anglo-Saxon combination is already established and that if the United States, the oldest daughter of Great Britain, should make a proposition to join that combination I am sure it will be considered; and I can only say that the establishment of such an Empire would be the greatest guarantee of peace that the world has ever seen. Then the United States would not only be next to the key-stone of the arch and the back-bone of the world, but she would be also part of the great Empire to which we belong. I thank you.