THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES OF CANADA CONSIDERED GEOGRAPHICALLY.
Address delivered by Mr. J. F. M. Stewart, B.A., Assistant Secretary Canadian Manufacturers' Association, Toronto, and Secretary of the Empire Club, at the Luncheon, March 31st, 1904.
MR. PRESIDENT,--The subject you have given me, "The Manufacturing Industries of Canada Considered Geographically," is a very broad one. It is limited only by the magnificent distance of 3,500 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and by another stretch of 1,400 miles, extending from our cousins on the South, who are also our greatest competitors, to the region of everlasting ice. It gives me an opportunity to consider the manufacturing possibilities of three and three-quarter millions of square miles, within the bounds of which the two greatest manufacturing nations of the world, the United States and Great Britain, could both be comfortably settled, with room enough left to give either Holland or Belgium a quiet resting place.
True, we often see big things with little in them. Size alone does not bespeak greatness, and the superficial view is not the one that convinces. Let us first ask ourselves the question, Is Canada suited for a manufacturing nation? Let us hope the answer will be yes, for can we point, or will history direct us, to any people who ever became great and lasting that lived alone by hunting or fishing, by tending cattle or by tilling the soil.
If our Canada is going to be a manufacturing nation there are three requirements :-We must have an abundance of raw material, easy conveyance of man and goods from place to place, and a suitable population. For raw material, we are dependent principally on our forests, farms and mines. Our forests have not failed us. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia each give to us an abundant supply, the fringe of which has only been touched. In all the Provinces the forest industries are extensively carried on. The last returns for the Dominion (1901) show the value of lumber and log products alone to reach the sum of $63,000,000, and in 1902 we were able to spare $32,000,000 worth for export.
Then consider our farms; that brings many of us very near home. In Ontario we have the finest in the world. In Nova Scotia and in Manitoba they say the same. Let us hope they have. It is sufficient for us to know that last year Canada produced 100,000,000 bushels of wheat. Three-quarters of this we consumed at home, and how many towns in Ontario are there without a grist mill for manufacturing flour, to say nothing of the large mills that manufacture for export? Of oats, we produced 164,000,000 bushels, and so on with the other grains. These figures are only a shadow of what is to come, but in considering them note also that all the wheat produced last year west of Ontario was not equal in value to the products of the factories of your own city, Toronto. Other figures coming from the farm I will not give you now, but it is on the farm that a great number of our industries depend, i.e., meat-packing, fruit and vegetable canning, butter and cheese, woollens, beet sugar, etc.
Our mines are an unknown quantity. We know that we have some of the most valuable deposits worked by man, and we have reason to believe that Canada's mineral wealth will yet surprise even ourselves. Ontario, the manufacturing centre of the Dominion, lacks the most valuable mineral, coal, and we have not been able to bring it from other Canadian coal fields as cheaply as we can import it from the United States. Last year Nova Scotia yielded five and a half million tons, British Columbia one and three-quarter million tons, Manitoba and the Territories four hundred thousand, and New Brunswick eighteen thousand. This production was almost fourfifths of the coal we consumed. In iron it is difficult to locate the important deposits. We might mention Sydney, C.B., or rather Newfoundland, which I hope will soon be part of us; Woodstock, N.B., Beauce, and near Hull, Quebec; Madoc, Marmora and. the Lake Superior district, in Ontario; and different locations in British Columbia. In 1901 the production in Canada was 313,000 tons. The industries depending on iron are familiar to us all.
Gold is found everywhere but in New Brunswick and Manitoba. The year 1900 saw the greatest production, valued at $28,000,000. It fell considerably below this in 1901, and in 1902 to about $21,000,000. Australia and the United States are the only countries producing more gold than Canada. We will pass by the other minerals by mentioning the production for 1902--of copper 20,000 tons, crude petroleum 20,000,000 barrels, silver ore 3%4 million tons, and lead 11,500 tons. I think we may rest assured that our raw material is present in such quantities that we need not be anxious for some time to come.
As to railways, we have in Canada 19,000 miles of railway traversing and uniting our Provinces. Last year they carried over forty million tons of freight, over one-third of which was manufactured goods. In Canada, we have a mile of railway for every 282 people. In the United States the figures are a mile for 385 people, and in Great Britain a mile for 1,891. We have one mile of railway for every 166 square miles of territory.
These railways, good as they are, cannot compare with our magnificent water facilities. Our Maritime Provinces are surrounded with the Atlantic, and are nearer than the United States to the great European markets. We have not only Halifax, St. John and Sydney as perfectly safe harbours, but there are in addition no less than eleven other desirable harbours in our Provinces by the sea. From the Pacific Coast, we have open to us the trade of our Australasian colonies and the Oriental nations. There, too, we have the important harbours of Victoria and Vancouver, with a choice of several other safe ones for the terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific. Our greatest asset, however, is the Great Lakes with the St. Lawrence outlet. The greatest ocean steamers can now only come as far as Montreal. Some boats have made the trip from England to Fort William, but as our canals will not permit a vessel to pass drawing more than fourteen feet of water, immense sums of money must be spent in deepening them. Regular lines of steamers are now running from Superior ports to Montreal.
Our transportation problem is gradually being solved. We have spent enormous sums and overcome great difficulties, but we can yet afford more money for transportation purposes. More railways and more water in our canals we must have. Don't let us leave transportation, however, without a hopeful look towards Hudson's Bay, about which the alarm has recently been sounded, not seriously, I hope, that our title may not be a good one. Prince Rupert with his Hudson's Bay Company boats found his way there over two centuries ago, and it is quite within the range of possibility that we will find that outlet an advantageous way to reach the markets of the world.
To digress, for a moment, Canada is blessed as no other nation in the world with numerous rivers that, though not navigable, are going to do much to cheapen production. The Bonnington Falls already supply Rossland and Nelson, and the mines in that vicinity, with all the power they require. The Assiniboia River is being harnessed for the benefit of Winnipeg.' Kakabecka Falls will provide all the power necessary for Port Arthur and Fort William. Our own Niagara will be more to Western Ontario than coal is to Pennsylvania. Shawinigan Falls provides power for Montreal, Montmorency Falls for Quebec, and these are only a few of the many that are scattered over the length and breadth of our land.
We have, therefore, the raw material and we have the opportunity for complete transportation facilities.
My third requirement was population. We have not enough people in Canada. We are now drawing some of the best people from the United States and our Motherland is sending us more of her sons than ever before. Our country has only recently become known abroad. It only needs to be known to be attractive. During the last few years we have developed a distinct nationality. It is no credit to a Canadian today to say he is an English Canadian, Scotch Canadian, Irish Canadian, or a French Canadian. We are Canadians and let us call ourselves by our right name. We have a right to be proud of our ancestors and their history, but at the same time we are developing a nation of our own and making a history.
Now, let us ask ourselves what we as Canadians have done to take advantage of our resources, and our facilities for transportation. It is not yet thirty-seven years since the British North America Act was passed. At the close of first year after Confederation our export trade was less than $58,000,000. During the last fiscal year it amounted to about $226,000,000. During these thirty-six years our export trade amounted to nearly $4,000,000,000. This is an enormous sum, but our exports will increase in the future much more quickly than they have done in the past, and the manufacturers will play an important part in that increase. For the first year of Confederation they exported $15,600,000 worth of goods. In 1903 their exports, including refined oil and lumber products, were nearly $50,000,000, and including meats, butter, cheese and flour, $108,000,000, or nearly 50 percent of our total exports.
At the present time a conservative estimate of the amount invested in manufacturing in Canada would be $50,000,000. The Census of 1901, which only takes into account factories employing five hands or over, gives the number of factories in Canada at 14,650, and the value of their output is placed at $481,000,000. I will try to tell you something in a general way about a few particular branches of industry that help to make up this total.
Butter and Cheese.--This is a manufacturing business that has within the last few years undergone a complete change, both in the place and method of operation. Every farmer's wife in Ontario formerly had a factory of her own, and her products were butter, and very frequently cheese. The latter was the first industry to be given up, and the milk of the farm went, to the cheese factory. The butter industry is now being abandoned. Not a few farmers today buy butter, and many make at home only sufficient for household requirements. The reason for this is that it pays better to sell milk than to sell butter. The industry has also become highly specialized and technical.
Our cheese industry has developed wonderfully. In 1873 we exported two and a quarter million dollars' worth. Last year, or thirty years later, we exported nearly $25,000,000. The United States one would expect would be our greatest competitor, but such is not the case. The reason for this is that the United States farmer cannot or does not manufacture cheese of the same nicety of flavour and quality that the Canadian farmer does. The only country in the world that beats Canadian cheese for quality is Denmark, and that superiority, we believe, is now limited to a matter of time.
The latest statistics available, 1902, give the value of the product of Ontario cheese factories at $13,000,000. Quebec comes next with about the same, and Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Nova Scotia follow in the order named. The value of butter exported is not nearly as much, amounting in 1903 to $7,000,000; but this sum is more than double the 1901 exports. The great increase is accounted for by cold storage facilities on board the trans-Atlantic steamers. Of the exports Ontario provided over one-third. Both the cheese and butter industry have become well established in Manitoba and the North-West Territories.
Milling.--The industry next closely identified with the farm is milling. The flour mills of Canada today are one of our greatest assets. They are equipped with Canadian machinery and operated almost entirely by Canadians. They are supplied with the finest homegrown wheat in the world and produce flour of the first grade. Out of a total of some 2,500 mills scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, fully Zoo have a capacity of over Zoo barrels per day, whilst the largest mills are capable of producing two or three thousand barrels every twenty-four hours. The value of products has increased annually. In 1871 the output aggregated $39,000,000; ten years later $41,000,000; 1891, $52,000,000, and today a conservative estimate would be $70,000,000.
Our export trade in flour is an old established one. As early as 1793 we shipped 10,900 bbls. from the Port of Quebec to the Old World. Last year we shipped a million and a quarter bbls., to the value of over four and a half million dollars. Do not let us deceive ourselves, however, by thinking we play a very important part in the flour imports of Great Britain. Last year we supplied only to per cent. of her imports. Our duty is to grow more wheat, not with the intention of exporting it, but that it may be manufactured into the finest flour the world can produce. I will not touch on the great development of cereal milling--Quake's and Tillson's oats, and a host of other brands will not let you forget that the "Made in Canada" cereal is the one you should demand for your breakfast.
The Woollen Industry.--Nearly three hundred small towns and villages in Canada have woollen industries which, in many cases, are their mainstay. The first woollen mill in Ontario was built by the Hon. James Crooks in West Flamboro in the year 1827. Between 1835 and 1860 about fifty mills were established in different parts of our Provinces. At the present time three hundred mills in operation give employment to between 10,000 and 12,000 people and the capital invested in the industry approaches $15,000,000.
Few Canadians today are familiar with the products of Canadian woollen mills. There is a decided preference for the imported article, notwithstanding that the home products are very fine. Those of you who saw the exhibit at the Dominion Exhibition last year were without doubt much surprised at the range and quality of the goods. It is a fact, however, that manufacturers and merchants have to display their goods marked imported in order to satisfy the buying public who insist on having the imported article. The question of tariff seems to be very closely identified with the woollen industry today. It is true that since the British Preference our woollen industry has suffered greatly. Last year the importations were about $12,000,000. The imports have grown steadily to that sum since 1897, when they were about $7,000,000. In 1891 the value of the woollen goods produced in Canada was $7,800,000. Ten years later (1901), instead of being able to show an increase the production was $500,000 less. This is a rare exception, as industries generally have shown favourable growth.
Sugar.--Practically all the refined sugar consumed in Canada is manufactured here. Four factories, one in Halifax, two in Montreal, and one in Vancouver, pro duced in 1901 sugar to the value of $12,690,000. The raw product for this was raw cane sugar from the West Indies, and other tropical countries, and raw beet sugar from Europe. It'-will surprise some of us to know that beet sugar is no new thing in Canada. On the contrary considerably over one-half of the sugar used in 1903 was manufactured from beets grown by the farmers of Germany, France and Belgium. We now have four beet sugar factories in Ontario-at Berlin, Wallaceburg, Dresden and Wiarton. Last year 7,183 tons were produced, 3529 at Berlin, 2,115 at Wallaceburg, 1,047 at Dresden and 490 at Wiarton.
Cottons.--The Canadian cotton industry forms a very important section of our country's industrial constitution. There is invested in plant about $24,000,000, and employment is given to 13,5oo hands. There are 26 mills scattered from Halifax to Hamilton. On an average there is nearly $1,000,000 invested in each plant, and 500 hands employed. The Dominion Cotton Mills Co., Limited, at Valleyfield, Que., has $4,000,000 invested and employs 3,000 hands. The industry began in Dundas, Ontario, in 1856, but up till 1878 the bulk of our cottons were imported, and only the coarsest grades made at home. In 1878 the output was about $2,000,000. Last year it was nearly $15,000,000. The amount paid annually in wages is $4,000,000. Three-quarters of a million is spent on coal. Mill supplies cost $1,500,000. Nearly $700,000 is spent in railway freights and $5,500,000 of raw cotton is imported.
Agricultural Implements.--This is an industry that does not depend on the farm for its raw material, but does depend on it for its market. To show its importance would be to give the history of the source of its raw material, which is taken from the forest, the iron mine, the coal mine, the blast furnace, rolling mill and many other places. These different articles are gathered together in our own factories and manufactured into the finest implements in the world to the value of $10,000,0000 annually. Notwithstanding this production, which could easily be increased, implements to the value of over three millions were imported from the United States last year. How can we account for this? Are they better? The answer can only be " No," because in England and Australia, Canada's implements were preferred to those of the United States. Are they cheaper? No, the United States binder sells in Canada for more than the Canadian binder. The immense value of the imports is hard to explain. Much of it can be attributed to the same cause that makes some of us prefer imported woollens. The bulk of Canadian implements are manufactured in Ontario. They are sold all over Canada and in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, South Africa, South America, etc., etc.
Wood Pulp.--Let us now turn from the farm to the forest, and our first consideration will be wood pulp. Dr. George Johnson, the Dominion Statistician, estimates that there are 4,500,000,000 tons of wood pulp in sight in Canada. This means that at the present rate of consumption in Great Britain and the United States, it would take 5,000 years to use up Canada's visible supply. In developing the pulp industry, Canada has been particularly favoured by Providence. No other country on the face of the globe has been blessed with so many advantages for the production of wood pulp. Her forests are filled with the particular species of trees that make the best pulp. Water-power, which is almost an absolute necessity for the successful operation of pulp mills, has been lavishly bestowed at .the requisite points, and her geographical position midway between Europe and Asia, and next door to the United States, gives her a powerful advantage in the markets of the world.
Thirty years ago not a single pulp mill was to be found throughout the length and breadth of the country. In fact, the industry is entirely modern in every respect. Referring to the Census of 1881 it is found that five mills were in existence at that date, employing some sixty-eight men and producing pulp to the value of $63,000. By 1891 the number of mills had increased to twenty-four, 1,025 men were employed, and the output aggregated a value of $1,057,810. Today there are thirty-five mills in operation, producing pulp to the value of $4,383,182 per annum, while several new mills are under construction.
During 1902 Canada exported about 57 percent of her total production of pulp, or in value $2,511,664. Of this quantity the United States took the major portion, namely, $1,598,139, while the United Kingdom imported $976,192. As the latter was only sufficient to supply 8'% percent of the needs of Great Britain, it is apparent that a splendid market awaits the Canadian manufacturer of pulp in the Old Land. Wood pulp is the raw material for our paper factories. At the present time the paper mills of Canada can produce in the neighbourhood of 1,300,000 pounds of paper every twenty-four hours. This total will include not only news print, book paper and ledger, bond and writing paper, but the coarser grades of product as well, such as wrapping, felt, building and manilla.
In a thousand different directions the demand for paper is observable, varying from its use in the manufacture of car wheels to its use as a medium of exchange. With truth it may be said that not only has the advance of civilization been marked by the increasing and more varied use to which iron has been put, but it has also been distinguished by the increased demand for paper. Paper was first made in Canada in 1825. Today there are about forty mills in operation, principally in Ontario and Quebec. The value of their product is about $4,500,000. We export $850,000 worth, $332,000 of this to Great Britain and $320,000 to Australia.
Iron and Steel.--I am going to sacrifice the lumbering operations, the furniture factory and many other important industries to spend a few minutes with the iron and steel. After a struggle of more than a century it can be said that the iron and steel industry of Canada has both an existence and a future. When the first furnace was established about 170 years ago, the industry secured a foothold in the country, but up to ten or twelve years ago the only future that was generally credited for Canadian iron concerns was bankruptcy. Of course, there were successful ventures as the history of the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Co., Limited, will show, but general-confidence in the industry was wanting. -
For a long time our iron ore resources were regarded as treasures of no value, because ore and coal were not in juxtaposition. But investigation has shown that in all the four districts in Canada that can boast of iron ore supplies, the assemblage of the raw material for iron and steel furnaces can be made at a lower cost than at Pittsburg, the cheapest centre in the United States. That is a fact not fully realized yet. The number of blast furnaces in Canada for the production of pig iron is 78, with a capacity of 7,090,300 tons. The production last year was 321,190 tons. In addition to the pig iron produced, we have to our credit 232,647 tons of steel ingots, 775,394 tons of which were produced at Sydney, C.B.
The works at Sydney have a capacity for 500,000 tons of pig iron and 425,000 tons of steel ingots per annum. It is claimed that the raw material can be assembled there cheaper than at any other place in the world. The cost of assembling material for each ton of pig iron at Pittsburg is $3.25, while at Sydney it is only cents. In addition to this Sydney is 1,000 miles nearer the markets of the world than Pittsburg. The plant of the Algoma Steel Company at Sault Ste. Marie, now closed down, has a pig iron capacity of 380,000 tons, and a capacity for steel ingots of 200,000 tons per annum.* The Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Co., Limited, New Glasgow, has grown from a company organized in 7872 and capitalized at $4,000 to its present proud position. Its annual capacity at the present time is 33,000 tons of pig iron and 110,000 tons of steel ingots. The other important companies in Canada are the Canada Iron Furnace Co., Radnor Forges, Quebec and Midland, Ont.; Hamilton Steel and Iron Co., Hamilton; Cramp Steel
* These works have since resumed operations.
Co., Limited, Collingwood, and the Deseronto Iron Co., Limited, Deseronto.
I am not going to look into the figures of any other industries. There are hundreds of them and in almost every line the products are of such a quality that we may be proud of them. Each of us should do our part to assist manufacturing in Canada. Our efforts will not go unrewarded. It is to our advantage to ship wheat to Great Britain when we might as well ship flour? By shipping flour we give employment to labour, invest capital in plant and machinery, provide a home market for our farmers and for other manufacturers and the benefits flow directly or indirectly to every class of our population. There are 1,120 paper mills in the United States, and last year we sent them 65 per cent of their pulp wood. This is robbing us of our resources. If the United States paper makers must have our pulp wood I submit that we should have their factories and not send them our raw material, and later send our money to buy the finished product, and in the transaction give employment to United States workmen, a profit to the United States manufacturer and a home market to the United States farmer.
Then, again, we must encourage manufacturing to keep our population. Every son born on a farm will not be a farmer. He must have a choice of occupation, and if he cannot get it at home he will go abroad. This is one reason why there are nearly 1,500,000 Canadians in the United States today. Climatic conditions, too, must be considered. During our severe winters navigation closes, builders are without employment, there is no work on the farm, and all these unemployed come to the cities. They have not been noticed the last few years, because the manufacturers have been able to absorb the surplus. The important point to note is that for the thousands of immigrants that are pouring into Canada at the present time we must provide employment to keep them busy during the winter months. Unless we do this they will go south like the robin, but will not be so likely to return.
In Canada we have about 5,500,000 people, and we can safely say that they are all loyal and patriotic. Each year we, import upwards of $100,000,000 worth of manufactured goods, the greater part coming from the United States. If each Canadian would spend 5 cents per week for "Made in Canada" goods in preference to imported goods, in a year it would amount to $14,300,000, or if each of us would spend 5 cents per day we would do away entirely with our imports of manufactured goods and create a demand that would increase the output of our factories by 20 percent. Each of us can help in this by demanding " Made in Canada" shoes when the imported are offered; the "Made in Canada" suiting or dress--goods when the imported is offered and the "Made in Canada" breakfast cereal, canned meat or other food when our retailer tries to sell us what is brought from abroad.
It is the duty of all of us to study the importance of supporting the home manufacturer in a practical way. When we have done that, we will not hesitate to demand the goods that every Canadian should be proud of-those that float the banner " Made in Canada. This would be practical patriotism.