Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Commercial Union


Commercial Union . The origin of this phrase, like the phrase "a national policy", is to be found in the debate in the Canadian House of Commons on the motion of L. S. Huntington, member for Shefford, on March 21, 1870, in favour of a customs union between Canada and the United States. Erastus Wiman, a Canadian resident in New York, applied the expression in 1887 to his campaign for free trade with a common tariff for these two countries. In Canada the movement was endorsed by H. W. Darling, president of the Toronto Board of Trade, Goldwin Smith, Valancey E. Fuller, president of the council of Farmers' Institutes, and others. A Commercial Union League was formed, with Goldwin Smith as president arid G. Mercer Adam as secretary, and efforts to form branches were made. The Toronto Board of Trade decided against Darling's policy, adopting a motion of Senator John Macdonald declaring that no policy involving tariff discrimination against Great Britain should be favoured. The movement made no headway, and gave way later to other forms of advocacy of reciprocity.

Source : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 107-108.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College