February 8, 1901

FIRST READING.


Bill (No. 1) respecting the Administration of Oaths of Office.-(Sir Wilfrid Laurier.)


SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.

LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I have the honour to inform this House that when the House attended His Excellency the Governor General this day in the Senate Chamber, His Excellency was pleased to make a Speech to both Houses of Parliament, and, to prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy of tlie Speech, which is as follows :-

Honourable Gentlemen of the denote :

Gentlemen of the House of Commons :

Since our last meeting the Empire has been called on to lament the demise of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria. The universal regret and sympathy with which the tidings of her decease have been received throughout the entire civilized world, afford the best testimony to the manner in which she has, at all times, discharged her duties, both as a woman and a sovereign, throughout her unprecedentedly long and glorious reign, and I will venture to add that in no portion of her vast territories were those sentiments more profoundly felt than in the Dominion of Canada.

You will, I am sure, take early action to express your sympathy with the Royal Family in their bereavement and your loyalty to the new Sovereign.

The Canadian contingents to South Africa have nearly all returned, and it affords me a very great gratification to be able to assure you that the valour and good conduct of our Canadian soldiers have called forth the highest encomiums from the several commanders under whom they have served during the arduous contest.

The union of the several provinces of Australia into one confederation, upon lines closely resembling those on which our own Dominion has been established, marks another important step towards the consolidation of the outlaying portions of the Empire, and, I am well assured, will call forth your m- st, sincere congratulations to the new commonwealth.

Acting on the advice of my ministers, I had, previously to the great grief which has fallen

li

upon the nation, tendered an invitation on your behalf to His Excellency the Duke of Cornwall and York to conclude his intended visit to Australasia by one to the Dominion of Canada, and I am glad to be able to inform you that His Royal Highness has been pleased to signify his acceptance of the same. I still hope that that visit may not be considered impossible. I have no doubt of the warmth of the welcome with which he will he received.

My government has learned with great satisfaction of the progress being made with the Pacific cable scheme, and I trust that nothing may occur to delay its early completion.

Last summer I made a tour through Canada as far as Dawson City, and was everywhere received with unqualified proofs of devotion and loyalty. During my journey, I was, from personal observation, much impressed with the great activity displayed in the development of the mining and agricultural industries of the country, and with the substantial increase in its population. The thrift, energy and law-abiding character of the immigrants are a subject of much congratulation, and afford ample proof of their usefulness as citizens of the Dominion.

It gives me great pleasure to note the excellent display made by Canada at the Universal Exposition in Paris. The fine quality and varied character of Canadian natural and industrial products is evidenced by the number of awards won In nearly every class of the competition. It is a remarkable testimony to the effectiveness of our cold storage transportation facilities, that fresh fruit grown in Canada secured a large number of the highest awards. It is extremely gratifying to observe that, as a result of the display of Canadian resources, considerable foreign capital has found its way to Canada for investment and large orders from foreign countries have been received for Canadian goods.

The improvement of the St. Lawrence route continues to engage the very careful attention of my government. During the past year ship channels have been widened and deepened, additional lights and buoys have been provided and, in a short time, there will be telegraph and cable communication with Belle Isle. These additional securities will tend to make safer and more efficient than ever our great waterway between the lakes and the Atlantic.

I am glad to observe that the revenue and (he general volume of trade continue undiminished, and even show a moderate increase over the very large figures attained during the past year.

Measures will be submitted to you for the better supervision of the export trade in food products, and also in connection with the Post Office, the Pacific cable and various other subjects.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons :

The accounts for the past year will be laid before you.

The Estimates for the succeeding year will likewise be placed upon the Table at an early date.

Honourable Gentlemen of the Senate :

Gentlemen of the House of Commons :

I commend to your earnest consideration the measures to be submitted to you, invoking the Divine blessings upon the important labours on which you are again entering.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.
Permalink
?

The PRIME MINISTER moved :

That the Speech ot His Excellency the Governor General to both Houses of the Parliament of the Dominion of Canada, he taken into consideration on Monday next.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES.

?

The PRIME MINISTER (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) moved :

That Select Standing Committees of this House for the present session be appointed for the following purposes :-1. On Privileges and Elections. 2. On Expiring Laws. 3. On

Railways, Canals and Telegraph Lines. 4. On

Miscellaneous Private Bills. 5. On Standing Orders. 6. On Printing. 7. On Public Accounts. 8. On Banking and Commerce. 9. On Agriculture and Colonization,-which said committees shall severally be empowered to examine and inquire into all such matters and things as may be referred to them by the House; and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon, with power to send for persons, papers and records.

Topic:   SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES.
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


ADJOURNMENT-NEW LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.


The PRIME MINISTER (Sir Wilfrid Laurier.) Before I move the adjournment of the House, I desire to give notice that to-morrow, if it be convenient to my lion, friends on the other side, I propose to move an address to His Majesty the King, of which I intimated the nature yesterday. I will avail myself of this opportunity to tender my congratulations, as well as the congratulations of this side of the House, to my hon. friend the senior member for Halifax (Mr. Borden) on his advancement to the high office of leader of His Majesty's loyal opposition. Of course, it would not be fitting for me to offer any suggestion whatever, or any observations, as to what should be the internal policy of the Conservative party ; but speaking as a citizen of Canada, I am quite sure that the elevation of my hon. friend to the position that he now occupies must be very gratifying to himself. Speaking personally, and as leader of the House, it affords me much pleasure to think in advance that the relations between my hon. friend and myself will be always pleasant and cordial. I am well aware that it will be my painful duty on many occasions to dissent from the views of my hon. friend because, as it is his misfortune to be in the wrong on the main question. I do not anticipate that he can be in the right on the minor ones. But we will agree to disagree as we have done in the past, and I am quite sure that my hon. friend will believe in my absolute sincerity when I tell


LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

him that I hope, with all my heart, he may continue to exercise for a long, long period, the functions of leader of the opposition. I beg to move the adjournment of the House.

Topic:   ADJOURNMENT-NEW LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.
Permalink
?

Mr. I@

Mr. Speaker, I thank the right hon. gentleman for the kindness and courtesy which he has so well expressed in the remarks he has just seen fit to make with regard to myself. He will permit me, however, to say, in passing, that if I should remain leader of the opposition for as long a period as that joke is old, it will be wholly beyond my own expectations, and beyond the expectations of the hon. gentlemen on this side of the House. It will be our painful duty, I expect, on some occasions, to differ with the right hon. gentleman and those who support him, as to what will be the best interests of the country, but I can only say that I shall add my efforts to his in the direction that our differences shall be adjusted, so far as they can be adjusted in this House, in a kindly and courteous manner. In saying that, I am sure that I voice the sentiments of every hon. gentleman on this side of the House. It is needless for me to say that I have accepted the trust which has been reposed in me by hon. gentlemen on this side of the House with a great deal of diffidence and hesitation. That diffidence and that hesitation have not been inspired by any fear of the loyalty or fidelity of lion, gentlemen on this side of the House, in which I have the most perfect confidence. They have rather been inspired by my own comparative inexperience in public life, and by the fact that I doubted my own capacity to follow in the footsteps of those great men, who, in times past, have filled the position of leader, on one side or other, in the House, of the party which I now have the honour to lead in this House. I remember also that the traditions of tiiis House have been sustained by great men who are now on the other side of the House, but who for many years fought the battles of their party with more or less varying fortune from the side of the House which is now occupied by my hon. friends and myself. It will be quite convenient for us to dispose of the motion to which the right hon. gentleman has referred to-morrow, and I am sure that the motion which has been suggested will receive the most cordial support from hon. gentlemen on this side of the House.

Topic:   ADJOURNMENT-NEW LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.
Permalink

REPORT.


Report of the Joint Librarians of Parliament.- (Mr. Speaker.) On motion of the Prime Minister the House adjourned at 3.50 p.m.



Friday, February 8, 1901.


MESSAGE FROM HIS EXCELLENCY-INTERNAL ECONOMY.


The PRIME MINISTER OSir Wilfrid Laurler) presented a message from His Excellency the Governor General. Mr. SPEAKER read the message, as follows :- Minto. The Governor General transmits to the House of Commons an approved Minute of Council, appointing the Honourable Sir Richard Cartwright, G.C.M.G., Minister of Trade and Commerce; the Honourable Sir Louis Henry Davies, K. C. M. G., Minister of Marine and Fisheries ; the Honourable William Stevens Fielding, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Joseph Israel Tarte, Minister of Public Works, to act with the Speaker of the House of Commons, as Commissioners for the purposes and under the provisions of the 13th Chapter of the Revised Statutes of Canada, intituled : ' An Act respecting the House of Commons.' Government House, Ottawa, February 7, 1901.


DEATH OF QUEEN VICTORIA.

?

The PRIME MINISTER (Sir Wilfrid Laurler).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to move the resolution of which I gave notice yesterday, which seems to be eminently called for by the fatal occurrence under which we have met. We have met under the shadow of a death which has caused more universal mourning than has ever been recorded in the pages of history. In these words there is no exaggeration ; they are the literal truth. There is mourning in the United Kingdom, in the colonies, and in the many islands and continents which form the great empire over which extend the sovereignty of Queen Victoria. There is mourning deep, sincere, heartfelt in the mansions of the great, and of the rich, and in the cottages of the poor and lowly ; for to all her subjects, whether high or low. whether rich or poor, the Queen, in her long reign had become an object of almost sacred veneration.

There is sincere and unaffected regret in all of the nations of Europe, for all the nations of Europe had learned to appreciate, to admire, and to envy the many qualities of Queen Victoria, those many public and domestic virtues which were the pride of her subjects.

There is genuine grief in the neighbouring nation of seventy-five million inhabitants, the kinsmen of her own people, by whom, at all times, and under all circumstances, her name was held in higli reverence, and where, in the darkest days of the civil war, when the relations of the two countries were strained, almost to the point of snapping, the poet Whittier well expressed the feeling of his countrymen when he exclaimed :

We bowed the heart, if not the knee,

To England's Queen, God bless her.

There is wailing and lamentation amongst the savage and barbarian peoples of her vast empire, in the wigwams of our own Indian tribes, in the huts of the coloured races of Africa and of India, to whom she was at all times the great mother, the living impersonation of majesty and benevolence. Aye, and there is mourning also, genuine and unaffected, in the farm houses of South Africa, which have been lately, and still are devastated by war, for it is a fact that above the clang of arms, above the many angers engendered by the war, the name of Queen Victoria was always held in high respect, even by those who are fighting her troops, as a symbol of justice, and perhaps her kind hand was much relied upon when the supreme hour of reconciliation should come.

Undoubtedly we may find in history instances where death has caused perhaps more passionate outbursts of grief, but it is impossible to find instances where death has caused so universal, so sincere, so heartfelt an expression of sorrow. In the presence of these many evidences of grief which come not only from her own dominions, but from all parts of the globe ; in the presence of so many tokens of admiration, where it is not possible to find a single discordant note ; in the presence of the immeasurable void caused by the death of Queen Victoria, it is not too much to say that the grave has just closed upon one of the great characters of history.

What is greatness ? We are accustomed to call great, those exceptional beings upon whom heaven has bestowed some of its choicest gifts, which astonish and dazzle the world by the splendour of faculties, phenomenally developed, even when these faculties are much marred by defects and weaknesses which make them nugatory of good. But this is not, in my estimation, at least, the highest conception of greatness. The equipoise of a well-balanced mind, the equilibrium of faculties well and evenly ordered, the luminous insight of a calm judgment, are gifts which are as rarely found in one human being, as the possession of the more dazzling though less solid qualities. And when these high qualities are found in a ruler of men, combined with purity of soul, kindness of heart, generosity of disposition, elevation of purpose, and devotion to duty, this is what seems to me to he the highest conception of greatness, greatness which will be abundantly productive of happiness

and glory to tlie people under such a sovereign. If I mistake not, sucli was tlie character of Queen Victoria, and such were the results of her rule. It has been our privilege to live under her reign, and it must be admitted that her reign was of the grandest In history, rivalling in length, and more than rivalling in glory the long reign of Louis XIV., and more than the reign of Louis XIV., likely to project its lustre into future ages.

If we cast our glance back over the sixty-four years into which was encompassed the reign of Queen Victoria, we stand astonished, however familiar we may be with the facts, at the development of civilization which has taken place during that period. We stand astonished at the advance of culture, of wealth, of legislation, of education, of literature, of the arts aud sciences, of locomotion by land and by sea, and of almost every department of human activity. The age of Queen Victoria must be held to be on a par with the most famous within the memory of man. Of course, of many facts and occurrences which have contributed to make the reign of Queen Victoria what it was, to give it the splendour which has created such an impression upon her own country, and which has shed such a luminous trail all over the world, many took place apart and away from her influence. Many events took place In relation to which the most partial panegyrists would, no doubt, have to say, that they were simply the happy circumstance of the time in which she lived. Science, for instance, might have obtained the same degree of development under another monarch.

It is also possible that literature might have flourished under another monarch, but I believe that the contention can be advanced, and advanced truly, that tlie literature of the Victoria age to a large extent reflected the influence of the Queen. To the eternal glory of the literature of the reign of Queen Victoria be it said, that it was pure and absolutely free from the grossness which disgraced it in former ages, and which still unhappily is the shame of the literature of other countries. Happy indeed is the country whose literature is of such a character that it can be the intellectual food of the family circle ; that it can be placed by the mother In the hands of her daughter with abundant assurance that while the mind is improved the heart is not polluted. Such is the literature of the Victorian age. For this blessing, in my judgment, no small credit is due to the example and influence of our departed Queen. It is a fact well known in historv, that in England as in other countries, the influence of the sovereign was always reflected upon the literature of the reign. In former ages, when the court was impure, the literature of the nation was impure, but in the age of Queen Victoria, where the life of the court was pure, the literature

Topic:   DEATH OF QUEEN VICTORIA.
Permalink

February 8, 1901