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“We were a long time getting down to the real work of the commission, all the parties interested were so varied. The British and Canadian commissioners were especially anxious to make a reciprocal free trade treaty a part of the treaty before they would settle on the fishery question. More than one-half the time was occupied in this manner. The real work has been done within the last month. We told them over and over that the tariff was a matter which must be settled by Congress, and that we could do nothing about it. I must say, if this treaty is not ratified by the Senate they will make a great mistake."
I give you President Angell's statement, and I will now give the House a still more authoritative statement bearing on the same subject. I have here the report of the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives, to whom was referred, in 1885, the question as to the power of the President to negotiate treaties with foreign Governments. This report is No. 2,680, 48 Congress, 2nd Session.
“Mr. Tucker, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following report :
“The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the resolution of the House of Representatives embodied in this report, respectfully submit their report thereon.”
“The resolution is in these words:
Resolved, That the Judiciary Committee be directed to report to the House whether the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, can negotiate treaties with foreign Governments by which the duties levied by Congress on importations can be changed or abrogated.
“The question thus referred to the Committee is one of great importance in its relations to our foreign intercourse and our internal Government.
“Your Committee have thus considered the question on the true interpretation of the language of the constitution ; upon the construction of the Government itself; on the historic developments of the constitution from its British original through the articles of Confederation to its present form; on analogy to the British prototype; on precedents and the authority;
and have come to the conclusion expressed in the following resolution, which, though the discussion has taken a wider range, is confined to the question submitted by the resolution referred to the Committee:
" Resolved, that the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, cannot negotiate treaties with foreign Governments by which the duties levied by Congress can be changed or abrogated, and such treaties to be operative as law must have the sanction of an Act of Congress.”
I have therefore shown the grounds on which the United States plenipotentiaries refused, in the most positive manner, as they have stated in their reply over and over again, to take up the question of trade relations. You may ask me, then, what Mr. Bayard meant by using the words “these commercial questions and this commercial intercourse between the two countries.” I confess I was misled. I confess I took the same view as hon. gentlemen would take, I think, on reading his letter to me and my letter to him and his instructions to Mr. Phelps, and I was not prepared to be met by an absolute refusal on the part of the United States plenipotentiaries to take up and consider the question of commercial intercourse at all. But the explanation was this, and I think it is right and fair that in his absence I should give it. Mr. Bayard states now, and has stated throughout, his great desire to have the freest commercial intercourse between us consistent with the position and interest of the two countries. He says, if you want to see the policy of the Government of the United States, you have it in the President's Message to Congress; there is our policy. Our policy is to meet this enormous surplus revenue in the United States, not by a reduction that will strike at the labour and capital of the country by reducing the duty on manufactured articles simply and purely, but it is to meet it by two courses -by making every thing that operatives use cheap, by making it free, by making the natural products of the two countries free; in other words, by removing the duty
from the food and things that are used by operatives, and by removing the duties from raw materials, which, instead of injuring the manufacturing industries, is a protective policy. I say, Sir, that after studying the policy of the United States, of the Democratic party—the free trade party of the United States, as they are very improperly called, for there is no free trade party in the United States; they have got beyond that long ago_after examining their policy, after reading the President's message, after reading the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, after reading the speech of Mr. Carlisle, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on taking the chair, I have come to the conclusion that their policy is just as close to the policy of the Government of Canada as any two things possibly can be. Our policy is to make natural products free ; our policy is to make raw materials free ; our policy is to make the country as cheap a country as we can for the artisan, and at the same time to give his labour a full return, by such protection of the manufacturing industries of the country as will build up those manufactures and give employment to the people. Now, Sir, that is our policy. Mr. Bayard and those other gentlemen said that “there is only one way to reach this (for Congress alone can take the duty off any article); and on account of the exasperation that has been excited in this country by those fishery difficulties you have a unanimous Bill passed by the House of Representatives and passed by the Senate and assented to by the President ; you have to meet what they hold was the inhospitable conduct (they used good deal stronger terms in some of their State papers, I am very sorry to say) of Canada in reference to the treatment of their fishermen; our representatives have said that they would never purchase from Canada any immunity for their fishermen by reciprocal trade arrangements "-imbued, as their minds were, with the idea that we had adopted that policy to force reciprocity upon them. They imagined we did it for this
purpose, instead of doing it, as we did it, to protect our rights. While we were ready to have the freest commercial intercourse in the natural products of the two countries, we never attempted to use that as a means or as a lever by which to coerce the people of the United States. We were simply and wholly animated by a desire to protect, as we were bound to do, the fishermen of this country who are engaged in one of our greatest and most important industries.
Well, Sir, what was this Non-intercourse Bill ? It not only provided for shutting Canadian fishing vessels of all descriptions out of their ports, but it contained a provision against all interchange of trade. .
That was the law placed upon the Statute-book of the United States by the unanimous vote, I believe, of both the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States. If there was a “No” at all it was a single one. That expressed the sentiments and the feeling in the United States of America, and our friends the plenipotentiaries representing the United States said : “ If we make a treaty with you affecting the tariff, however small the inducement you might be willing to accept, it is certain of absolute rejection by the Senate, because the Congress of the United States have stated their position firmly, and they will not permit any interference on the part of the Administration of the United States by treaty with anything that involves a change in the fiscal laws of the United States.” They said, secondly, that not only was that the case, but such was the hostility of public men in regard to Canada and the treatment by Canada of their fishermen, that if to-morrow any relaxation of the tariff of the United States was made by an Act of Congress it would contain a clause excepting Canada from its operations so as to deny us its advantage. “But," they said, “our policy is proclaimed to the world; you will read it in the President's speech; you will see it everywhere; our policy is as far as we can to make the
natural products that come into the country free, and what lies in the way of that policy is this irritation connected with the fishery question. If we can solve that, if we can take that out of the way, you will find at once that our own independent policy—the policy of the United States on this question of commercial intercoursewill be such as to produce the most intimate commercial relations again with the Dominion of Canada.” And, Sir, under those circumstances, denied as we were the free consideration of the question, of which fact I have given you abundant evidence, we turned our attention to the only means by which it could be averted, and those were the removal of the causes of irritation between the United States and Canada (for it was Canada rather than Great Britain that was referred to), and by removing those causes of irritation, and giving free scope to this policy to which they were committed, we believed that it would at a very early day give us everything that we should desire in the way of greater freedom of commercial intercourse. Now, Sir, I am in somewhat a similar position in explaining this treaty, which I have now reached, to that in which I was in 1871 when defending the treaty of my right hon. friend under somewhat different circumstances. Then I said : “Every word that you force us to say in support of this treaty will be used against us at Halifax in diminution of the payment that we are entitled to for the greater value of our fisheries.” To-day I am in a somewhat similar position. For every word that I say in defence of the treaty to which I have put my hand and to which I ask the sanction of this House with the utmost confidence, every word that I say in support of it may be used tomorrow in the Senate of the United States, where support to the treaty may be more difficult to obtain than it is in the House of Commons of Canada. The House will, therefore, understand that on this occasion it cannot be expected from me that I shall point out very elaborately the advantages accruing to Canada under the treaty to