1878 John A. Macdonald on the Formation of the National Policy

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... The resolution speaks not only of a reasonable adjustment of the tariff but of the encouragement and development of interprovincial trade. That is one of the great objects we should seek to attain. Formerly, we were a number of Provinces which had very little trade with each other, and very little connection, except a common allegiance to a common Sovereign, and it is of the greatest importance that we should be allied together.

I believe that, by a fair readjustment of the tariff, we can increase the various industries which we can interchange one with another, and make this union a union in interest, a union in trade, and a union in feeling. We shall then grow up rapidly a good, steady and mature trade between the Provinces, rendering us independent of foreign trade, and not, as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia formerly did, look to the United States or to England for trade, but look to Ontario and Quebec, -- sending their products west, and receiving the products of Quebec and Ontario in exchange.

Thus the great policy, the National Policy, which we on this side are advocating, would be attained. Hon. gentlemen opposite laughed very much when they heard that part of the resolution relating to reciprocity of tariffs and reciprocity of trade; but I will tell them that, if there is one thing more than another in the minds of the people at the present time, it is this very subject. There is no mistake about it, for during the summer I had the opportunity of visiting all parts of the country, and have met many who profess themselves to be Reformers, Grits, or Liberals, upon whose minds the idea has been impressed. It has taken fast hold of the people of Ontario. Hon. gentlemen may depend upon it that the country will have it. The country will not have the present unjust policy. The country will have fair play, and will not allow our markets to be made use of by the manufacturers of a neighbouring country when they can find no better market elsewhere, and at the same time have no access to their markets.


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Source: Canada, Parliament

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