Page:Problems of Empire.djvu/205

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bushels, or two and a half quarters, if wheat rises by 2s. a quarter, the Canadian farmer will get 5s. per acre more for his produce, or 25l. in all. 25l. per annum will make all the difference to the small Canadian farmer between a struggling existence and comparative comfort. It cannot, of course, be asserted that as the result of the preference, the Canadian or even the British farmer will receive 2s. more than he does at present for his wheat. The price of wheat is liable to be affected far more by other causes than by the small duty now proposed. But it can be said with certainty that the Canadian farmer will receive 2s. more for his wheat than his competitor across the border, that he will make a profit larger by that amount than that which his competitor is making, and that he will be able to farm at a profit when his competitor is farming at a loss. The obvious and certain effect of the preference will be to tend to divert the stream of emigration from the United States, the Argentine Republic, and foreign countries to Canada, as well as to other British Colonies. Mr. Ross, the well-known Premier of Ontario, thinks that the population of Canada to-day, if Mr. Chamberlain's policy had been in force for the last twenty years, would have been twenty millions. That is the opinion of a very competent man of the material advantage to the Colonies of the establishment of a policy of Imperial preference. The material advantage to us is that every emigrant to the Colonies buys as many pounds' worth of British goods per head as an emigrant to the United States does shillings' worth, and thus provides more employment for British workpeople. It is clear that Mr. Chamberlain's policy will tend to build up the Empire.