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the contract required. That project that drove Sir John Macdonald out of public life on the ground that it could not earn enough money to pay for the grease of the axle wheels is to-day the greatest railway in the world. (Cheers.) Its revenue last year was twenty-four millions, it has a fleet of seventy-six steamers, and the hundred-dollar shares are being floated in the neighbourhood of two hundred and fifty dollars.
“I mention this to show that it is the LiberalConservative party of Canada which has carried out the great measures which have made Canada what it is. When people speak of the prosperity of the last fifteen years I want to know what the position would have been if British Columbia had not been a part of Canada. I say, therefore, that the completion of Confederation, and of that great inter-oceanic line of railway, and the adoption of a protective policy are the three great measures by which Canada stands to-day in the proud position which she occupies. And when I tell you that all these measures were carried in the teeth of the most bitter opposition of the Liberal party, I think I am not speaking extravagantly when I say that Canada's great position to-day is due to the fact that the Liberal-Conservative party was able to carry out these great measures.
“The policy of protecting the industries of the country adopted in 1878 was reaffirmed by the general election of 1891 ; and the Liberal party, defeated on all these occasions, came into power in 1896 on a question of race and religion. In Manitoba the right of the French Catholics to separate schools was taken away by the local legis
lature. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England declared that the rights of the French Catholics had been interfered with, and that it now devolved upon the Parliament of Canada to restore them. When, however, I moved the second reading of the Bill to give the French Catholics the rights to which they were entitled, although I had a decided majority, Sir Wilfrid Laurier joined in the most violent obstruction to prevent anything being done. I was driven to the country, and it was not surprising in those circumstances that I was defeated. But while Sir Wilfrid Laurier obtained office, he did not obtain power; and, going in on a question of race and religion, the first thing the Liberals were compelled to do was to swallow their eighteen years' denunciation of the protective policy, and adopt it as their own. These are the circumstances in which they have the modesty to claim that all this progress is due entirely to their efforts.
“I pass now to the reciprocity question. On a recent occasion, as you know, a banquet was given to Earl Grey, and no person can speak too highly of the manner in which that gentleman distinguished himself in discharging his duties as GovernorGeneral. I draw your attention to a single sentence he used in the course of his able address at the Royal Colonial Institute. He said that the people of Canada sniffed danger in the reciprocity proposals, and thousands and thousands of Liberals feared that their adoption might start their country on an incline which might eventually land them in the lap of the United States. That is perfectly true, and they had good reason for sniffing danger. In 1891 Sir Wilfrid Laurier went into the contest
with the declaration that if he succeeded they would have Continental Free Trade with the United States. After a most desperate struggle that measure was defeated-a measure which would have involved the adoption by Canada of the tariff made at Washington against this country, as well as the rest of the world; and I want to know how long we could expect to be part of the British Empire if we adopted a policy of that kind. The Hon. Edward Blake deserted his party on the ground that this policy involved the annexation of Canada to the United States. We cannot over-estimate the vital importance of the rejection of that reciprocity arrangement. In that great struggle in 1891 in favour of the maintenance of British institutions, Sir John Macdonald fell, but he did not fall until he had placed on the ramparts of Canada the inscription, 'No discrimination against the Mother Country.'
“This policy animated the Liberal-Conservative party then, and it animated them in the recent contest. The result you know. Mr. Borden, a gentleman of the highest character and standing, challenged the arrangement submitted by Mr. Fielding. Leading his party with great ability and sagacity, he forced the Liberal party to go to the country, and when he had done so, fought the contest in the most brilliant and effective manner from the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains to the shores of the Atlantic at Halifax. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, with his charming personality and the brilliant eloquence with which he can support any side of a question he takes up, fought to the bitter end, but only to meet that overwhelming defeat which, I think, has settled for all time the question of whether Canada
shall be British or Republican. Mr. Borden had the support of Mr. MacMaster, who gave most able aid, and of fellow members in the House of Commons. He had, too, the support not only of the Liberal-Conservative party, but of the Hon. Clifford Sifton, a previous colleague of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and of Mr. White, another Liberal, who, I am happy to say, is now Finance Minister in Mr. Borden's Cabinet. The result was received with intense satisfaction by the mass of this country. (Cheers.) What did Mr. Balfour say, that great man whose health has obliged him to retire from the parliamentary position which he adorned ? He prophesied that it would be shown that on September 21, 1911, the future course of the Empire was set for all time. In these circumstances you can imagine how gratified I feel to see the party to which Canada from the first owes all these measures led to this triumphant position.
“But I must not forget to say that the efforts neither of Mr. Borden nor of the Conservative party, nor Mr. Sifton, nor Mr. White, were conclusive. There was a speech against reciprocitya speech that had great weight in Canada—made by a no less distinguished individual than President Taft. I find no fault with him because he was endeavouring to make the United States the dictator of the world by bringing Canada within its folds. They had half the North American continent already, but we had the better half. We have enormous resources, rich soil, and last, but not least, gigantic water-power throughout. Mr. Taft could well believe that now was the time. He said that we were at the parting of the ways. This
was their opportunity; and mark, gentlemen, how this acute statesman declared it to be the last chance of preventing the consummation of Mr. Chamberlain's policy for the consolidation of the British Empire. Talk of the obsequies of Tariff Reform—why, it is ridiculous that any man should be found in this country to talk of such a thing. Mr. Taft saw with an eagle's eye that Mr. Chamberlain's policy was perhaps the only means by which the great British Empire could be made greater still. As an intelligent statesman, he knew that the progress made by that movement since Mr. Chamberlain laid down his high office in 1903 has been one of the most gigantic and overwhelming changes that has ever taken place in this country. Mr. Taft's speech sank deeply into the heart of every intelligent man in Canada who had to decide on the question, by Mr. Taft's showing, whether Canada was to be Republican, or to become with the other great dominions and the Mother Country an Empire overwhelmingly strong and in a position to dictate the peace of the world. No person can attach more importance than I do to the position at which Canada has now arrived—a position which will render this Empire the bulwark of the throne and British institutions, a greater Empire than the world has even seen.”