Hon. W. S. Fielding: His Speech on Nomination Day at Summerside

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Hon. W. S. Fielding: His Speech on Nomination Day at Summerside
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HON. W. S. FIELDING. HIS SPEECH ON NOMINATION DAY AT SUMMERSIDE. SUMMERSIDE, Dec. 9. — The Liberal meeting in Market Hall, Summerside, on Wednesday night of the official nomination day for the bye-election for the house, was largely attended, many being unable to obtain admission. Mr. R. Campbell, President of the Liberal association, occupied the chair. Several prominent P. E. Island Liberals were on the platform. HON. MR. FIELDING’S ADDRESS. Hon. W. S. Fielding on being introduced by the chairman received a great ovation. After referring briefly to and complimenting Mr. Bell and Hon. Senator Yeo, he proceeded to speak on the Liberal record for the past two years. They had held their great convention at Ottawa in June, 1893, and had adopted a platform to which during their two years of reign, they had strictly adhered. The Conservatives had never dared to call a convention open to the whole Dominion, as such would reveal too plainly the divisions which every one knows exist in their ranks. But the Liberals had nothing to fear from an open convention. The first that confronted the Liberal ministers was the Manitoba school question. That, in spite of its great difficulties, was settled to the satisfaction of almost all — settled so that no Conservative leader will ever think of reopening it. The useless and costly Franchise Act has been repealed and a large sum of money spent on it saved to the country. No sooner was the Liberal government in power than Mr. Davies and Sir Richard Cartwright were sent to Washington to try to negotiate a reciprocity treaty and now a great commission is in session at the United States capital, endeavoring to arrange terms of reciprocity that will be acceptable to both countries. They had in their Ottawa platform declared for tariff reform and their declaration they are carrying out, slowly, wisely and prudently, without injuring in any way the business interest of the country. As a result the duties have been greatly reduced, so much indeed that the Conservatives at first declared the changes made would bring about a business panic, but when their predictions did not come true they turned about and declared that no changes of any consequence had been made. The speaker here gave a long list of articles, such as cloths, iron, machinery, nails, binder twine, window glass, etc., on which the duties have been greatly reduced. Indeed in the manufacturing centres of the upper provinces the government is being bitterly attacked by their opponents because of the reductions made, though down here they think it good policy to take the opposite plan. At the close of the first session of Liberal rule Sir Charles Tupper and Hon. Mr. Foster declared that there would be a deficit for the first year under Liberal rule of at least three million dollars, and that the financial standing of the country WOULD SUFFER IN CONSEQUENCE, but the Liberals ran the country on $38,000,000 instead of the $40,000,000 which Tupper and Foster declared would be spent and had a deficit of only $519,000. Next year the expenditure was 38 and three quarter millions and there was not only no deficit, but a surplus of $1,500,000 and this magnificent record was made in spite of the fact that duties were reduced on the necessaries of life. The speaker dealt fully with the charge of extravagance. Money spent honestly in the necessary development of the country, he contended, is not extravagance. The Liberals have spent several millions in deepening canals. They spent $3,000,000 on the Crow’s Nest Pass, a railway that will open to the world the rich mineral regions of British Columbia. They were obliged to spend large sums of money in maintaining law and order in the Yukon and as a result, life and property are as safe there today as in the streets of London. The Liberals have had many new obligations to meet which cost money and which could not be avoided when the welfare of the country was considered. The speaker waxed eloquent on the question of the preferential tariff and showed what it had done in uniting Canada to the Mother Country and that as a consequence there are more Canadian eggs, bacon, butter, cheese, etc., used on English tables today than ever before. Mr. Fielding spoke for upwards of an hour and a half and was frequently and loudly applauded. After the applause that followed his speech had subsided, Mr. Bell, the candidate elect, was called upon. On coming to the platform Mr. Bell, Liberal candidate, was loudly cheered and received the closest attention and frequent applause during his short speech from the enthusiastic gathering. At the close three cheers were well given for Mr. Bell and for Hon. Mr. Fielding and the crowd dispersed. The Liberals here are jubilant over the success of the meeting.