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three times, that of Canada is still greater, as the population has in the same period increased twentyseven times, and there is every reason to expect a still more rapid increase now that they have opened up by their magnificent line of intercommunication the enormous stretch of country remaining for development west of Lake Superior.
There is no doubt that in a comparatively few years a large population will occupy Canada, and that England will be strengthened by a great British auxiliary on the northern half of the continent of North America. Canada has in addition expended since confederation over forty millions of dollars upon her militia and mounted police, and in the establishment of a military college, which, I am proud to know from one of the highest authorities, is second to no military school in the world, and of nine other military schools and batteries in the various provinces of which Canada is composed. In 1889 Canada expended no less than two millions of dollars on the militia and the North-West mounted police, which anyone who knows the country will admit is a most effective means of defence. It is true we have a comparatively small permanent force, but we have established military schools, and we have such a nucleus of a further force as in case of need would enable us to develop the militia in the most effective manner, consisting of 37,000 volunteers who are trained annually, and a reserve of 1,000,000 men, liable to be called upon should the necessity arise. One of the most effective means adopted by the Imperial Parliament for the defence of the Empire is by subsidising fast steamers built under Admiralty supervision,
with armament which can be available at a moment's notice. These steamers could maintain their position and keep up mail communication in time of war, or be used for the transport of troops. Canada has contributed £15,000 a year to a splendid line of steamers, such as I have described, now plying between Canada, Japan, and China, and has offered no less than £165,000 per annum to put a service like the Teutonic between England and Canada, and a fast service between Canada and Australia. All these splendid steamers would be effective as cruisers if required for the protection of British commerce and the transport of troops and thousands of volunteers from the colonies to any point that the protection of the Empire demanded. These actual facts illustrate, in my opinion, the best mode of contributing to the strength and defence of the Empire. In my judgment, instead of adding to its defence, the strength of a colony would be impaired by taking away the means which it requires for its development and for increasing its defensive power, if it were asked for a contribution to the army and navy. Any such contribution would be utterly insignificant in its value compared with what is now being accomplished. The same may be said of Australia. Does any person suppose it would be strengthening the Empire if for any such purpose the means now used for the creation of a navy of her own, for fortifying the country, and opening it up for development from one end to the other diverted to some other purpose ?
I will now approach what I am afraid will be regarded as a very controversial part of my argu
ment, but I am again encouraged to do so by the statement which the Prime Minister made to the deputation from the United Empire Trade League. His Lordship said :
“I deeply feel the very great importance of the subject submitted to us to-day, which not only involves those questions which were dealt with by the deputation which waited upon me two days ago, namely, our relations and the continuance of our relations with our colonies, but also raises those vast fiscal questions which are engaging more than any other political or perhaps social questions the attention of every nation in the world. If you give a preferential treatment
-that is, a better price to your colonies, it must be a better price than that which, with unrestricted competition, is obtaining now. A better price to the producer means a more disagreeable price to the consumer; and what we have to know before we can formulate any propositions, or before we can invite our colonies to any kind of federationwhat it is we have to know is, how far the people of this country would be disposed to support a policy of which, I imagine, the most prominent features are preferential taxes on corn, preferential taxes on meat, and preferential taxes on wool. Some people may say you can have these preferential taxes without any increase of price to the consumer. . On these matters public opinion must be formed before any Government can act. No Government can impose its own opinion upon the people of the country in these matters. It is the duty of those who feel themselves to be the leaders of such a movement, and the apostles of
such a doctrine, to go forth and fight for it, and when they have convinced the people of the country the battle will be won."
I cannot think that Lord Salisbury is entirely sound in the view which he propounded, that the objects at which, certainly, the United Empire Trade League aimed could not be accomplished without increasing the cost of living to the consumers in this country. He said, “A better price to the producer means a more disagreeable price to the consumer.” In the first place, the question of supply has to be considered. Whence are the bread and meat to come from to supply the enormous demands of this country? I am going to quote a very high and distinguished authority, and one who will be regarded as such not only in England, but in the United States and in Canada, and I may say throughout the British Empire ; I refer to a speech delivered, and which I read with the greatest pleasure, by Sir Lyon Playfair at Leeds on a recent occasion. In delivering a very exhaustive and able statement in regard to the McKinley Tariff, he especially drew attention to an important fact, which was, that the time was near at hand when, owing to the increased population of the United States of America and the exhaustion of their wheat lands—because both are going on with great rapidity--the United States would be unable to furnish bread to this country. He said :
“ Canada has shown much energy in opening up her vast possessions by railways and by steamboats. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are now connected by an iron band.
Canada can grow