Page:Problems of Empire.djvu/206

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A policy of Imperial preference should not, however, be judged only from the standpoint of material advantages. The material value might be as small as suggested by Sir Robert Giffen, but I would still advocate the policy. It is, in my judgment, of the utmost importance that the various peoples who live under the British flag should feel that as regards trade and commerce, which are the foundations of our Empire, they are a single unit, and that the interest of no part of the Empire can be threatened by the action of a foreign Power, without the whole force of the Empire being brought to bear to protect those interests. You will remember the threatened action of Germany, owing to the institution of the Canadian preference. The tone of Germany has been absolutely changed since Mr. Chamberlain's proposals became a question of practical politics.

Food Supply. One other remark of Sir Robert Giffen I desire to refer to. 'We want,' he says, 'about 20 million quarters to displace the present foreign supply, and there is a prospect of 10 million quarters only from Canada in the next twenty years.' The net surplus of wheat for export from the North-West he estimates at about 3 million quarters at the present time. In 1903, there were 3,170,871 acres under wheat, producing 57 million bushels, or 7 million quarters. For the previous two years, two-thirds of the crop went east of Manitoba. It is generally assumed that the Provinces east of Lake Superior produce sufficient wheat for their own consumption, so that all the wheat shipped east of Manitoba should be available for export. The leading grain merchant already referred to, estimated that from the crop of 1903 there should be available for export