§ Mr. CROFT
asked the Prime Minister, whether his attention has been called to the publication of correspondence between President Taft and Mr. Roosevelt with reference to reciprocity, in which President Taft has stated that a current of business could be produced between Western Canada and the United States that would make Canada only an adjunct of the United States; and whether, having regard to this attempt to practically annex Canada to the United States, he will reconsider the question of Imperial preference in order that such designs may in future be defeated?
§ Mr. HUNT
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that President Taft has stated that the effect of reciprocity between the United States and Canada would be to make Canada a mere adjunct of the 25 United States, and would transfer all Canada's important business to New York and Chicago, he will instruct Mr. Bryce, our Ambassador at Washington, that he is not in the future to assist in bringing about reciprocity between Canada and the United States?
§ Sir CLEMENT KINLOCH - COOKE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the statement contained in Mr. Taft's letter to Mr. Roosevelt, in which it is asserted that the trade agreement of a year ago would make Western Canada an adjunct of the United States and would concentrate the commercial and banking interests of the Dominion on Chicago and New York; whether this view was known to the Government at the time; and, if the view of the American President was withheld from our Ambassador at Washington, will he take the necessary steps to ascertain why the view was withheld; and whether, now that the true inwardness of the American position has been revealed, the Government still maintain that the trade agreement was to the advantage of Canada and of this country?
§ Mr. CROFT
asked whether His Majesty's Government were aware of the intention of President Taft to make Canada an adjunct of the United States when they instructed the British Ambassador at Washington to assist the passage of the Reciprocity Bill between the United States and Canada?
Mr. SHIRLEY BENN
asked the Prime Minister whether it was the business of the British Ambassador at Washington to be aware of the fact that the object of the reciprocity agreement between the United States and Canada was to make Canada an adjunct of the United States; whether he was so aware; and whether, in view of the public correspondence between Mr. Taft and Mr. Roosevelt, it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to recall the present Ambassador?
§ Mr. GRANT
asked if a recently published letter from President Taft to ex-President Roosevelt has come under the notice of His Majesty's Government; and, if so, if the contents of that letter in any way modifies the recent sympathy of His Majesty's Government with the movement towards reciprocity between Canada and the United States of America?
§ Viscount WOLMER
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been 26 called to President Taft's declaration that the object of the American-Canadian reciprocity agreement was to make Canada an adjunct of the United States; and whether he still adheres to his publicly expressed determination to assist to the utmost of his power the American-Canadian reciprocity movement?
§ Mr. NORTON-GRIFFITHS
asked the Prime Minister (1) whether his attention, has been called to the extracts of letters-which have passed between President Taft and Mr. Roosevelt, in which it is stated that reciprocity between the United States and Canada would make the latter an adjunct of the United States; and, in view of such statements, whether the Government has modified its attitude towards any scheme of the kind; (2) whether his attention has been called to a speech made this week by the acting Prime Minister of Canada, the Hon. Mr. Foster, alleging that the recent effort by the United States to secure reciprocity with Canada would have endangered the Dominion; and whether this has modified the attitude of His Majesty's Government towards such proposals; and (3) whether the Government were aware that when the British Ambassador at Washington was supporting the proposed reciprocity between Canada and the United States of America of the views of Mr. Taft, that the result of such treaty would be to make Canada an adjunct of the United States of America; and, if not, when did they so-become aware?
asked the Prime Minister if he will state whether, in view of the fact that President Taft wrote in January, 1911, to Mr. Roosevelt concerning American reciprocity with Canada to the effect that it would make Canada an adjunct of the United States, he can inform the House whether His Majesty's Ambassador to the United States communicated this to His Majesty's Government; and whether he can lay any Papers upon the-Table concerning it?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I have seen extracts from correspondence between President Taft and Mr. Roosevelt that have been published in the Press. I have no further knowledge of them than that, and as the correspondence was private it is obvious that His Majesty's Ambassador could not have had any knowledge of its contents, or have communicated them to His Majesty's Government. There is nothing in the correspondence, so 27 far as we are aware, to affect the relations between the Imperial and Canadian Governments, or our view of what is to the mutual advantage of Great Britain and Canada; the question of what is most to the advantage of Canada itself is primarily one for the Canadian Government. I must take the opportunity of repudiating most emphatically the reflections upon Mr. Bryce which are suggested by some of these questions. Mr. Bryce had nothing to do with influencing the views or policy of the late Canadian Government. The negotiations were initiated and carried on by them, and the Ambassador, in pursuance of his plain duty, saw Mr. Fielding, the late Canadian Minister of Finance, from time to time during the Conference at Washington in order to learn from him anything that it might be needful for us to know, but he did not in any way interfere in the Conferences. If asked by the Canadian Ministers for advice or assistance he gave it: all British subjects engaged in legitimate and important business are entitled to receive that from a British Ambassador. For Mr. Bryce to have refused it to Canadian Ministers conferring at Washington upon a matter that was within their own competence would have been resented, and naturally resented, in Canada generally: there would have been no difference of opinion in the Dominion about that, whatever difference there is between Canadians themselves about the merits of reciprocity. The manner in which Mr. Bryce performed his duty has been of great public advantage in inspiring in Canada a confidence that the British Ambassador at Washington will give his support to every Canadian Government: to the present Canadian Government no less than to their predecessors—in any negotiations in which they may from time to time on behalf of the Dominion be engaged with the Government of the United States.
§ Mr. HUNT
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that Mr. Bryce in his book stated that trade reciprocity between Canada and America would lead to political union between the two countries, and whether he is aware that Sir John McDonald in 1891 said that reciprocity was veiled treason?
§ Mr. HEWINS
Are we to understand that this particular reciprocity proposal was initiated by Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his Government?
§ Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
Are we to understand that our Ambassador at Washington failed to appreciate or understand the true inwardness of the policy of the American Government in regard to Canada?
§ Mr. HAMAR GREENWOOD
May I ask if at any time any Canadian Government has made any complaint against our Ambassador at Washington?
§ Mr. MACMASTER
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that, at the time Mr. Bryce was appointed as our Ambassador at Washington, he had written in his well-known book, entitled "The American Commonwealth," the following statement?—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member can hardly expect the Prime Minister to know every word written by Mr. Bryce in his book.
Sir GILBERT PARKER
Are we to understand that the Prime Minister states authoritatively that the first intimation of a desire to promote a reciprocity agreement came from Canada, instead of a direct intimation being made from Washington to the Canadian Government that the Canadian Ministers would be welcomed at Washington to discuss a reciprocity treaty?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I did not say that. I stated it came from Canada, and not from here. Whether it proceeded in the first instance from Washington or Ottawa I cannot say.