The Indian Empire: Tariff Reform
- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 30 Sep 1910, p. 37-41
- Lloyd, G.A.; Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W.A., Speaker
- Media Type:
- Item Type:
- Mr. George A. Lloyd:
India's population. The feeling at home that India does not amount to much in the affairs of the Empire—"ought we not to throw her aside?" not a general feeling and one to be "nipped in the very bud." The speaker's belief, with Lord Curzon, that India is the only really imperial part of the British Empire. How India is held. Pushing forward civilization in India. Ways in which India is different from every other part of the Empire. India under British rule. Strategic points held for the sake of India. An argument in favour of maintaining India. What British rule has done for India. The spirit in which the great work should be carried on in our India Empire.
The Hon. W.A. Ormsby-Gore:
Urging the establishment of a tariff in the British Isles, and reasons for it. The first step in the establishment of a policy of Imperial reciprocity throughout the world, involving the taxation of food products. The speaker's belief that we would have carried the protective tariff if confined to manufactured goods. Coming to Canada a staunch Imperialist; going back a more staunch one still. Both Liberals and Conservatives in Britain today Imperialists and opposed to the policy of drift. The Tariff Reformers in the Old Country confident of success at the next election. The speaker's personal attachment to the Imperialistic principles. Progress towards Free Trade. Two factors or keys for change in England: a clear majority in London, and a win in Lancashire. A words as regard Canada. Imperial Preference and Mr. Chamberlain's policy. Benefits to Canada of Imperial Preference. Benefits for the British Isles from Canadian Preference. Urging the audience to speak out in favour of that which will be of inestimable value to the Empire.
- Date of Original:
- 30 Sep 1910
- Language of Item:
- Copyright Statement:
- The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Empire Club of Canada
Agency street/mail address
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street West, Floor H
Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3
- Full Text
THE INDIAN EMPIRE: TARIFF REFORM.
Addresses delivered by Mr. G. A. Lloyd, M.P. for West Staffordshire, and the Hon. W. A. Ormsby-Gore, M.P., for Denbigh, before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto, on Sept. 30, 1910.
MR. GEORGE A. LLOYD, M.P.
Mr. President and Gentlemen: During the few minutes at my disposal today I will not have time to go very deep, but merely touch the fringe, as it were, of the subject I am to speak on-India.
That vast country, with its population of 350,000,000, makes the population of England, and other European countries, in fact of Europe itself, seem infinitesimally small in comparison. I have chosen this subject because we have got the feeling at home that India does not amount to much in the affairs of the Empire-ought we not to throw her aside? This is the feeling among some of the people in the Old Country-true it is only a cloud the size of a man's hand. They seem to forget that these millions of people, all fellow subjects, are looking up to us. True, this feeling is not general, but it should be "nipped in the very bud."
I believe with Lord Curzon, that India is the only really imperial part of the British Empire. It is held by the sword and gun, and must continue to be held thus. That does not mean that we are not to go on pushing forward civilization in India. It is different from every Other part of the Empire because it is absolutely Imperial in the real sense of the word-it belongs to us beyond question.
It was India that caused the purchase of the Suez Canal by Great Britain-she had to have that waiter-way to protect her Indian Empire. India has had peace under British rule, something she never knew before, and that is the reason they look up to our King as practically their King and head of their faith today. Then, again, think of Aden, that strategical position, held by the British, think of Gibraltar, think of Malta-they and many other strategic points all held for the sake of India 1 Look at Central India itself, and see how that great peninsula is influencing the whole of Central Asia. Had Germany and Russia no India to take into account, what would be the effect upon our navy. It would have to be doubled, tripled and quadrupled. There it lies--the centre of the world, a dominating influence upon every road, every route, upon all people, and, almost more important, upon the commerce and industries which enrich those routes.
As an argument in favour of maintaining India, we might show what British rule has done for India. It has done almost everything you could ask or imagine. It produced peace, which India never had before when she was the prey of a thousand invasions, each one carrying off a million or so of her population. Tartars two or three hundred years ago would carry off two or three million with one fell swoop. What a grand training ground we have in India .for the army of 200,000 stationed there, to accustom them to look after the long frontier line. You have a long frontier in Canada, which, please God, will never have to be jealously guarded by a large army. Again, think of the immense irrigation system which has been established in India under British rule-17,000,000 acres of fertile soil under irrigation, now feeding a people that were starving like flies before. The land values in India during the last 50 years have increased 1,500,000,000 dollars, and this increase has almost entirely all gone to the people-an answer, I think, to the argument that we merely drain India of its wealth. The increase in imports and exports during the same period has been $1,000,000,000. These are arguments in favour of British rule which we like to place before men like Keir-Hardie--traitors we call them in England.
Great Britain has not spared either men or money to better the conditions of the Indian people, and I believe we all realize there is still a work for India to be done by the British hand-that hand that nobody has ever seen turn back from the plow so far. A few of our people refer to our rule in that country as a failure, but I don't think that any of us with anything of the Imperial spirit in us will admit that for one moment. We are British, let us not scuttle our ships on a calm daylet us, if we have to, get sunk, but let it be as a rich ship with a full cargo, true to the great traditions of Great Britain. This is the spirit in which the great work should be carried on in our India Empire.
TAE HON. W. A. ORMSBY-GORE, M.P.
Mr. President and Members of the Empire Club
I must thank you, gentlemen, as one of the newest and youngest recruits in England in carrying the torch lit by -Mr. Chamberlain in the British Isles, for your invitation. I can speak from very little experience, for when Mr. Joseph Chamberlain started .his campaign I was still a schoolboy, and I remember with what youthful enthusiasm I entered into the campaign as soon as I left college. I was given a pretty hard task, being sent into the mining district of Wales, next door to the formidable present Chancellor of the Exchequer, and had to stand at the pit-mouth, on the street corners, and everywhere preach the gospel not merely of Protection, because I believe we could have carried Protection for England, but to carry the torch for something more than that-the Preferential idea. We had to urge the establishment of a tariff in the British Isles, not merely to protect British interests, but also as the first step in the establishment of a policy of Imperial reciprocity throughout the world, and involving ,therefore the taxation of food products.
Now, I might tell you, I honestly believe we would have carried the protective tariff if confined to manufactured goods. One of the ablest Labour-Socialists in the House admitted this to me. He told me that if Mr. Chamberlain had worked for a tariff on foreign manufactured articles he would have won, but because he introduced the Imperial element, because he asked for food taxes and a sacrifice for the Dominions over the sea, they beat us. But he was an anti-Imperialist, what we call a "Little Englander." I am glad when we come over to the Dominion of Canada we very soon forget this "Little Englandism." I came to Canada a staunch Imperialist. I go back a more staunch one still. I will add this, that despite all the social problems Britain is facing today, both Liberals and Conservatives, with the exception perhaps of a few demagogues, they are really Imperialists, and opposed to the policy of drift. The Tariff Reformers in the Old Country are confident of success at the next election. As a young man, perhaps I am a little biased against what we call the laissez faire- principles of Cobdenism, and what makes me feel even more strongly attached to the Imperialistic principles is a medal given to my great-grandfather by the men, women and children of the factories of Lancashire as being one of the first ten men who put their names to a bill limiting the hours and improving the conditions of labour in our factories. It is in the principles of that bill .that you find the basis of our Protection movement in England, and of your national policy here. It is what is behind those principles that antagonizes the policy of drift. Why, Canada from the very fact that she is what she is, is an answer to what we call the laissez faire principles of the doctrine of Cobdenism; from the fact that you have a real national life, working out your own salvation, living out the national policy in which the tariff is only one evidence of patriotism acting from that spirit of national endeavour--that spirit which seeks to divert trade in ,the Imperial and national channels. That is what we want to carry in England today.
Now you ask me if this is what you are striving for--how far have you got along the road. In 1906 the Parliamentary majority in favour of Free Trade was 300, and when the last vote was taken in 1910, the majority was only 31. We have only 31 against us, and I believe we shall hold what we have got; in fact, I am certain we shall hold what we have got in England. Wales, of course, is pretty solid against us, Scotland very nearly solid against us, and Ireland does not change very much. Well, you say, where do you expect to have any change in order to win the day? We must look for the change in England. There are two large factors, two keys. In my opinion, if we are going to make the issue a permanent and lasting success, we must have a clear majority in London and must win Lancashire.
Now, I would just like to say a word as regards Canada. I came to Canada, of course, enthusiastic for Imperial Preference, and a firm believer in Mr. Chamberlain's policy. I go back all the more so. What have I learned in Canada? That it is not merely a country with a great agricultural future, not only the finest country in the world-it is a country that has the national policy impressed upon its people. I have learned what a hardy race of people you are, learned that this is a country which can manufacture for the world as well as produce grain for the world. When the Imperial Preference policy is fully in force you will manufacture more largely as well as grow wheat. Not only will Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg do the bulk of the manufacturing, but in the West the new settlements all over the prairies, which you see growing before your eyes today, will become great industrial towns and cities of the future. If you get Preference you will have manufacturers come from the United States, you will have skilled workmen come in from other industrial centres and build their factories and get the benefit of the British Preference and the British market. I believe you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by our policy.
I hope you will have more men like Sir James Whitney, who will come home and speak right out. Canadian Preference has done us good in the British Isles, as everybody will tell you in England, and we are sure that if we give you Preference, it will benefit Canada as well as the Empire. Do not be afraid to speak out in favour of that which will be of inestimable value to the Empire to which we are proud to belong. I think that this silence, this fear of treading on each other's toes, is not strong, is not British, and it smacks of that policy of drift which I feel the people of this country and the great British Empire want to avoid.