Page:Problems of Empire.djvu/211

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the milling business to this country, and so securing a supply of cheap offal.

The principal objection to Mr. Chamberlain's policy from the agricultural point of view is that the British farmer would have to pay more for his machinery. Most of the agricultural machinery imported into the United Kingdom comes from Canada or the United States. Some of the best-known firms of implement makers on the American continent are established in Canada. I visited the other day the Massey-Harris works at Toronto. I heard also while in Toronto that one of the largest firms of implement makers in the United States were establishing factories in Hamilton, Ontario, in order to get within the Canadian tariff. The British farmer will therefore be able to purchase the best of American agricultural machinery in Canada, and if he purchases it from Canada obviously he will pay no more than he does at the present time. The contention that owing to Mr. Chamberlain's scheme agricultural machinery would cost more is without any substantial foundation.

In conclusion: I have come to the conviction that some measure of protection for agriculture can be justified, not perhaps from the standpoint of the economist and not merely from the agricultural point of view, but on the broadest national grounds. I believe of England, as Prince Bismarck believed of Germany, that in the decline of agriculture there is the greatest danger to our permanence as a race.