Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (17 July 1866)

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Date: 1866-07-17
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 49-50.
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TUESDAY, July 17th, 1866.

The Speaker took the chair at three o’clock.

After the transaction of routine business:

The following bills were read a third time and passed:

To amend certain acts respecting the College of Regiopolis, and to confer the powers and privileges of an University on the same.

—Hon. Atty.-Gen. Macdonald.

To incorporate the Canada Vine Growers’ Association. —Hon. Mr. Cameron.

To amend the Act 25 Vic., Cap. 30, to enable the Ratepayers of the County of Lincoln to select a more convenient place for the County Town. —Mr. McGiverin.

To confirm and establish the existing line between the 4th and 5th Ranges of the Township of Buckingham. —Mr. Currier.

Mr. Oliver, the new member for North Oxford, was introduced by Messrs. McKenzie and Stirton, and took his seat.

Hon. Mr. Galt then moved the House into Committee on ways and means. —Carried —Mr. Street in the chair.

In reply to the Hon. Mr. Holton,

Hon. Mr. Galt stated that it was his intention to explain the modifications contemplated, as the resolutions were being considered in Committee.

Hon. Mr. Holton thought a general statement of the changes should be made now, that members might be able to judge of their probable effects.

Hon. Mr. Galt contended that to provoke a general discussion at this stage of proceeding would be a mere waste of time, as the general debate would more properly take place on the motion of concurrence.

Hon. Mr. Rose said, in satisfaction to parties who were most anxious to hear what the changes were to be, he hoped the hon. minister would fully state them before going into a consideration of the several items.

Hon. Mr. Galt said in compliance with the request of the hon. member for Montreal, he would briefly state the changes contemplated, without giving the reasons for them at the present time, these he would mention when they came to the respective items. In the article of sugar, no reduction was proposed on the first three qualities. On brown muscovado a reduction from $2.00 to $1.90 per 100 lbs. would take place; cane juice would be reduced from $1.50 to $1.37; and molasses from $1.00 to 73 cents. The following increase was proposed in tobacco: Cavendish from 10c per lb. to 15c.; common cut from 5 cents to 7 ½ cents; fine cut from 15 cents to 20 cents; Canadian twist from 2c to 4c; snuff and snuff flour dry, from 10c to 15c, and snuff, damp, moist or pickled, from 8c to 10c, cigars, ⁠—all kinds ⁠—would be advanced $1.00 per thousand; starch and soap would be struck out of the 15 per cent ad valorem lis,t being both subjected to a specific duty, the former of 2 ½ c and the latter of 1c per lb. After plank and sawed lumber of all kinds, “he proposed to insert, except walnut, rosewood, mahogny [sic], cherry and chestnut,” which were transferred to the free list.

He also proposed to strike leather out of the free list, and impose 10 per cent ad valorem, and to transfer mowing, reaping, or threshing machines to the 15 per cent list. He also proposed to add the following articles to the free list: ⁠—

Colors and articles following, where imported solely by room paper manufacturers, and strainers for manufacturing purposes only, viz: lakes in pulp, scarlet and maroon, ultra marine and Chinese blue, English umber, (raw), blue black, Paris and permanent green, bichromate of potash, sugar of lead, British green, slotted tapes for the manufacture of hoop-skirts, brass and tin clasps, slides and spangles for ditto, human hair, rattan for covering chairs; gasoline, machine silk twist, and machine linen thread, whale oils in their crude and natural state, not in any way refined, bleached or prepared.

Hon. Mr. Holton said the delay caused by the hon. member for Lincoln’s motion had been productive of satisfactory results. The discussion which had taken place, and the pressure brought to bear on the hon. Minister of Finance had produced a great change in the tariff.

The several items were then passed until the resolution affecting sugar, when Hon. Mr. Galt [text missing] the reasons which had induced him to reduce the duty on the coarser qualities which entered mostly into consumption among the poorer classes of the people. He had been accused of having tried to force the trade of Upper Canada, but the merchants of Hamilton or Toronto could import sugar directly by way of New York or Portland, just as well as by the St. Lawrence, therefore he denied that he had done anything towards forcing trade by that channel. With regard to the Trade Commission to the West Indies, he believed his hon. friend the Provincial Secretary, would be prepared to lay the report of that Commission before the House to-morrow, when he had no doubt the country would be well satisfied with its results.

In reply to the Hon. Mr. Holton,

Hon. Mr. Galt replied that the change of soap from the 15 per cent ad valorem to a specific duty, of 1 per cent per lb was made because of the duty of 1 cent on tallow, which entered into its manufacture; ½ cent per lb on common soap was equivalent to an ad valorem duty of 15 per cent, and the other half cent had been added as an equivalent for the duty of one cent per lb on lard and tallow. He also explained the change made with regard to starch; it had been taken out of the a dvalorem list, and a specific rate fixed equivalent to the ad valorem rate with an addition corresponding to the duty on corn, from which it was manufactured.

Hon. Mr. Holton contended that the duty on soap, instead of being reduced from the old rate, had been l;argely increased, and he had little doubt, though he was not so well informed regarding starch, that the same had taken place with regard to it. Mr. Holton also contended that the imposition of a duty of six cents per gallon on crude Petroleum, had been made in the interest of a few speculators, would exclude Pennslvania oil from the market, and largely increase the cost of the refined article to te consumer.

Hon. Mr. Galt said as the duty on refined article had not been increased, he could not see that the consumers could be put to any additional cot because of the addition of two ents per gallon on the crude article.

On the item of tobacco, Mr. Galt stated that under the old system every kind of tobacco, except the merest rubbish, was excludied from the country, and he proposed now to impose a small speifici duty, in lieu of the old rate, which was eqiovalent to about 40 per cent. ad valorem, which would have the effect of excluding the inferior qualities, and allowing of a fair competition in the superior kinds.

Hon. Mr. Holton said it was very much to be regretted that the Hon. Minister of Finance had not left the tobacco and cigar duties just where he had found them.

On the resolution imposing duties on certain agricultural productions,

Hon. Mr. Holton called upon the Minister of Finance to explain the free trade principles upon which these duties were imposed. (Laughter.) He had every confidence in his hon. friend’s ability to show the complete harmony between this proposition and the European system. (Laughter.)

Hon. J.S. Macdonald begged that the Hon. Minister of Finance be excused from making the explanation demanded. He (J.S. McD.) was a protectionist, and had always been a protectionist, and as this resolution offered protection to farmers, he hoped the Minister of Finance would be excused. (Laughter.)

Hon. Mr. Galt said the 12th resolution explained the matter.

Hon. J.A. Macdonald said there  was an irrepressible conflict of opinion between his hon. friend from Cornwall, the leader of the former Government, and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, the member for Chateauguay, the ojne a free trader, the other a protectionist, and he did not wonder his Government had broken down (laughter).

Hon. J.S. Macdonald said it was a wonder that the Government which came after his, had not broken down (renewed laughter.)

Mr. Fergusson (S. Simcoe), thought the Finance Minister should make some change in the tariff whereby a duty would be imposed on wheat equivalent to the duty of 50 cents a barrel on flour. He contended that Americans would bring in inferiror wheat and have it ground here, taking away our good wheat in return. He was satisfied, from what he knew of the farmers of the country, that theu would not be contented to see a duty on flour, and wheat coming in free. So long as the Americans put a duty of 20 cents on our wheat, we ought to put a duty to some extent on theirs.

Hon. Mr. Holton said if the member for Simcoiue would consider the point he would see it was not protection to the farmer, but protectin to the miller that was contemplated by this part of the tariff. Mr. Holton went on to comment on these items, and said it was an anomaly that the hon. Postmaster-General should assist in passing a tariff that operated […]

  • (p. 50)

[…] to the advantage of the business in which he was engaged.

Hon. Mr. Galt replied saying it was a most unjust accusation to bring against his hon. friend, and he assured the House it was altogether undeserved. It was well understood that the whole of these articles were placed under duty solely with reference to the Reciprocity Treaty, and the 12th resolution having this end in view gave the Governor in Council power to repeal he saw fit.

Hon. J.A. MAacdonald said it was an extrairdnary thing that the hon. member should bring such an accusation against an hon. gentleman ho had been his own colleage in the government.

Hon. Mr. Holton denied the slightest intention of reflecting in any degree upon the privat ehcaracter of the hon. member. He did not intend to imput to him any improper conduct, or to accuse him of taking an undue advantaghe of his position.

Hon. Mr. Howland repudiated the insinuations of thw hon. member. Though it was true he was connected with the milling interest, the lamppost would not benefit him a shilling. He then proceeded to explain the reasons which had induced the government to impose these duties on agricultural products.

Mr. McGiverin called the attention of the government to the advisability of imposing a duty upon fruit trees, frutis and vegetables. He had received a petititon fro several parties desirous of seeing this carried out, and as it would afford some additional degree of protection to the farmers, he hoped the government would view the porpiosition favorably.

Hon. Mr. Galt thought the House would agree with him that it would be a poor protection to a farmer who desired to set out an orchard to place difficulties in the way of his obtaining the best trees. As to the article of fruit was not the policy of the government to place a duty upon it.

Hon. Mr. Holton thought the answer very satisfactory as to fruit trees, and very unsatisfactory regarding fruit. If grain was ot bear a duty why should not fruit.

Mr. Morrison agreed with the member for Lincoln that fruit trees ought to bear a duty.

In reply to Messrs. Rymal and Haultain,

Hon. Mr. Galt explained that no duty had been put on wheat, because it was an article which entered largely into the exports of the country. It came into the country, was ground here and sent off again for the salr in other markets. To have put a duty on it would have needlesslyt raised the price of bread, and would not have benefitted the farmer to any extent, becausr the price infroeign markets regulated the price of wheat, and the duty would be an advantage to them. ON wheat going to Enfland a duty would be nugatory, as it would pass through Canada from the Western States in bond.

Mr. McKenzie expressed himself satisfied with reasons stated for exmpeting wheat and should like see akll other grains put on the same list with iut.

Mr. Ferugsson, (S. Simcoe) again addressed the House with reference to the duty on flour, and to contend for the imposition of a duty on wheat, and was about to move an amendment to strike out “except wheat,” leaving that article to the same duty (10 c per bushel) as other grains, when it ebing six o’clock, the Speaker left the chair.

Evening Sitting.

The House contineid in Committee of Ways and Means. Some discussion tookm place on the duty of 1 c. per lb. on “meats, fresh, salted or smked.” Hon. Mr. Holtpon contending that it would have an injurious bearing on the importation of mess pork.

Hon. J.S. Macdonald hoped the member for Pontiac would give the House the benefit of his views on this tax upon an article in which he was very much interested.

Mr. Poupore said if necessities of the country required a tax of $2 oer barrel on pork he was willing to submit to it, though he thought that $1 would have been suficcient and he would be glad to see the Finance Minister reduce it to that amount.

Mr. Jpnes (North Leeds) would be glad to see the tax on pork $4 instead of $2 per barrel, because the farmers of Canada, if properly protected could reaise all the pork that the country required, and they had as much right to protection in this particular as any other. The item was carried.

Mr. SHanly suggested that in the 25 per cen ad valorem list in the line with “essences and perfumery” should be added “fancy soaps.” He considered that this article was particularly deserving of a place in the list, because a great many of the ingredients which entered into its composition bore  aheavy duty, and he hoped it would be inserted in the manner he ahd suggested.

Hon. Mr Holton thought, as the duty of 1c per lb. on common soap, was equal to an ad valorem rate of 40 per cent, it did seem strange to him that the article of luxury,f ancy soap, should be put at a rate of only 25 per cent. He thought surely it ought tio bear a higher rate than the common article.

Hon. Mr. Galt supposed they would not expect him to reply to the remarks of the hon. member who had just sat down, and who was evidently resolved upon objecting to everything which the Goernment proposed, but with regard to what had been said by the member for Grenville, he (Mr. G.) would remind him that many of the articles which entered into the composition of perfumed soap would now be improted at a lower rate than formerly, and that the Gobernment, having fully considered the whole question, deemed the ratr at which the artivle now stood 15 per ent. As to the remarks of the hon. member for Cahteauguay, that the rate on common soap was equal to 40 per cent ad valorem, he repeated the duty was only equal to 15 per cent ad valorem, with the addition equal to the amount of duty on tallow.

Mr. Shanly, seconded by Mr. Pope, moved an amendment that “fancy soaps” be added after “essences and perfumery.”

Mr. Pope contended that the articles entering into the manufacture of fancy soaps, bore a heavy duty, and the Finance Minister would destroy the manufacture of soap altogether in the country to favor the English makers, and gratify his own whims.
Mr. D.A. Macdonald contended that soap ought to be made as free as possible.

Mr. Ross (Dundas) hoped the Minister of Finance would yieled to the proposition fo the member for Grenville. He had already yieleded on some important points, and he deserved the thanks of the country for so doing, as he had acted only in the interests of the country, and he hoped he would now establish a fresch claim to their thanks.

The amendment was lost and the resolution crried.

The 15 per cent ad valorem list wad carried, down to the item “leather,” without opposition, —”gold and silver leaf” being struck off, they appearing in the free list.

Mr. Holton called the attention of the House to the statement that sole and upper leaether should be taken from the free list, and added to the 10 per cents. He did not see why any distinction should be made between these and the other kinds of leather; they should all be left in the list of 15 per cents.

Hon. Mr. Galt said when the duty on leather was raised to 12 ½, the receipts at once fell off, and if the kinds specified were to bear a duty at all, he thought 10 per cent a rate at which the revenue would be most productive.

When the Committee reached the item of iron, in the free list,

Hon. Mr. Rose strongly objected to the repea; of the 10 per cent. duty on several kinds of iron, as by that step a large number of rolling mills, which kept a great many men at work, would have to be closed. —He stated that iN Nova Scotia while iron, fit only to be re-manufactured, was admitted free, there was a duty of 5 per cent on all other kinds. He concluded by moving in amendment, that the duty on bar iron, nail and spike, rod and rolled plate, remain as now, at 10 per cent.

Mr. Ford Jones was understood to take strong ground against Mr. Rose’s amendment, contending that no article could be placed on the free list that would confer greater advantages on the manufacturing interests of the country, and he did not see that they should suffer for the sake of a few rolling mills in Montreal.

Mr. Holton said these rolling mills had struggled into existence under the lowest rate of duty, 10 per cent, which could not be regarded as a protective duty. They did not now ask protection; they merely desired that if any class of manufactures was to be protected, the article they manufactured should be left at 10 per cent. He (Mr. H.) did not see any special reason for taking the duty off iron altogether; it was a manufactured article, and might well ebar the rate now imposed on it.

Hon. Mr. Galt said he hoped that a measyre calfculated to advance the general prosperity of the country would not be attended with such individual hardship as the hon. member for Montreal had pictured. The article of iron entered largely into almost every branch of manufacture in the country, and by placing it on the free list, they made a reduction in its cost of $4 oer ton, of which the country would get the benefit. This article had not been dealt with to raise revenue, but as a means of carrying out the system the government had proposed to itself of redistributing the burthen of taxation. He believed that in making iron free the government could not have begun upona  better article, for it was one of prime necessity.

Mr. Jones (North Leeds) warmly approved the policu of the government in placing iron on the free list.

After several members had spoken on the subject,

Hon. Mr. Rose urged upon the government the policy, if it was their intention to adopt the principles of free trade, of approaching their end gradually so as not to destroy infant manufactures that had grown up under a different system. He suggested a reduction from 10 to 7 1/2, then to 5, and so on until the customs duties were abolished altogether, but warned the government of the inquiry they would do to the classes he had mentioned.

The amendment was lost, only some half a dozen members voting for it,

In reply to Hon. J.S. Macdonald.

Hon. Mr. Galt stated that it had been the custom of the Government for some time past, to allow mill and factory machinery to remain in bond while in use by the importer, thus showing the intention of the Government to take off the duty. These bonds would now be cancelled.

Messrs. Cowan and Magill objected to the admission of mill and factory machinery free of duty, the latter moving that they be transferred to the 15 per cent list. —(Lost.)

The free list having been carried with the addition of the articles mentioned in Mr. Galt’s speech in the afternoon.

Hon. Mr. Galt moved the imposition of 10 per cent duty, on sole and upper leather. (Carried.)

The resolutions making the importation of agricultural products from the British North American Ptovines free from and after the passing of an act to that effect, and empowering the Govvernor in Council by proclamation to make the same articles free from the United States, so soon as they would be admitted free into that country, were carried.

A brief discussion took place on the resolution imposing an export duty on saw logs and shingle bolts. The resolution was carried.

On the resolution abolishing the free ports of Gaspe and Sault St. Marie.

Mr. Galt explained that a future day should be named for the abolition of the free ports, and the Government had fixed upon the 15th day of September next. He, therefore, moved that the resolution be amended acorrdingly. —Carried.

The committee then rose and reported.

Hon. Mr. Galt said he would move the House again into committee, on some resolutions relative to exciste duties.

The following bills passed through Committee, and were read a thirdtime:

Respecting Chapter 98 of the Consolidated Statutes of Upper Canada. —Hon. Atty.-Gen. Macdonald.

Respecting Chapter 2 of the Acts passed this Session. —Hon. Atty. Gen. Cartier.

The following bills passed through Committee:

TO incorporate the Ecclesiasticl Society of St. John, of the Diocese of Kingston. —Hon. Atty.-Gen. Macdonald.

To incorporate the “Institut des Artisans Canadiens de Montreal. —Hon. Atty.-Gen. Cartier.

The following bills were rea a second time:

AN Act further to amend the Harter of the QUebec Bank (from Legislative Council.) —Hon. Mr. Sol.-Gen. Langevin.

To facilitate the suppression of the evils caused by intemperance (from Legislativr Council.) Hon. Sol.-Gen. Langevin.

To amend the Act incorporating the St. Kawrence Tow Boat Company (from Legislative Council.) —Hon. Mr. Sol.-Gen. Langevin.

The JHouse adjourned at ten minutes to eleven.

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