That the Order for the consideration cf the motion for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General, in reply to his Speech at the opening of the session, have precedence over all other business except introduction of Bills, until disposed of.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.
Motion agreed to.
DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
INGRAM (East Elgin) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 2) to amend the Dominion Elections Act, 1900.
I may say that it is in respect to perfecting the ballot.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read tile first time.
AN ACT RESPECTING MONEYLENDERS.
MADORE (Hoehelaga) (translation) moved for leave to introduce a Bill (No. 3) respecting money-lenders.
(Translation.) As the Bill is not yet printed, I would ask to be allowed to postpone my explanations until the Bill comes up for its second reading.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
The House proceeded to the consideration of His Excellency's speec)i at the opening of the session.
Mr. HUGH GUTHRIE (South Wellington).
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that an humble address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General of Canada in reply to the Speech from the Throne, and in rising to perform this important duty, permit me to say, at the outset, that 1 am deeply sensible of the high honour which has been conferred upon me in my selection for the important task. I am also well aware of the difficulties which beset my path, and I would ask, Sir, with great respect, that the House would view my shortcomings with that lenience which in times past it has bestowed upon hon. members under similar circumstances. My inexperience will, perhaps, appear the greater, and I trust, on that account, your indulgence will be the less restricted, when i inform you that the past two or three days have furnished the only opportunity which I have ever had, even as a mere spectator, of witnessing the deliberations of this House ; so that my request is by no means a formal one, but by all means a most sincere one, when I ask you to bear with me for a short time whie I endeavour humbly to discharge the honourable duty which has been cast upon me. Hon. members will agree at the outset, when I remark that parliament has met upon the present occasion under circumstances, which, while they are both solemn and momentous, are likewise without parallel in the history and experience of the House. We have now embarked upon the first session of a new parliament, in the first year of a new century, and in the first year of the reign of a new sovereign. While these are conditions which render the present session more or less unique, there are other conditions which render it more than ordinarily impressive. During the brief period which intervened between the autumn dissolution and the meeting of the present House, an event of world-wide magnitude and importance has transpired in the British Empire in the death of our late Sovereign Lady the Queen, and the consequent demise of the Crown upon her illustrious son and successor His Majesty King Edward VII. It would be utterly impossible for me to add anything to the eloquent and finished tributes which have already been paid in this House to the memory of our late Queen,
tributes which so fully and so appropriately express not only the sentiments of the House, but likewise the sentiments of the whole country. Permit me only to remark in this respect, that the long and glorious reign which has just been brought to a close will for many years to come form a particularly bright spot in British history to which Canadians will look with the greatest veneration and gratitude. It was the reign that gave Canada national birth ; the reign which raised her from a position of comparative colonial obscurity to the high position she occupies to-day in British history. It was the reign which not only gave us a constitution, but which moulded and construed our constitution and rendered it the almost perfect system of government it is to-day. It is gratifying to our pride to know that our Canadian constitution has been veiy largely adopted as a model for the federation into one great British territory at the other side of the globe. To the people of the Australian Commonwealth the people of Canada extend most hearty greeting and most cordial congratulation.
Her late Majesty acceded to the Throne through a long line of noble ancestors, a line to which her own reign has added untold dignity and splendour. And, while we mourn her loss, yet we can rejoice that she has left us a strong line of her own royal blood and descent who, by God's grace we pay, may long be spared to reign over us.
It will be gratifying intelligence to the people of this country to learn that Canada has at this most^ opportune time extended to His Royal Highness the Duke of Cornwall and York an invitation to visit this country on his return from his contemplated visit to the Australian Commonwealth. His Royal Highness has been graciously pleased to accept that Invitation, and all Canadians, without distinction, will prepare to give a loyal and a fitting welcome to that noble prince not only on account of his exalted station as heir-apparent to the British Throne ; not only on his own account, but because he is the son of our reigning sovereign and the grandson of our late Queen whose death all Canada yet so bitterly mourns.
However, Sir. we must turn from the past with its glorious and vast achievements. with its triumphs and its mournings -our duty lies before us. Full well we know that this busy world throbs on careless of the coming and going of sovereigns. We must prepare to wrestle with the problems of the present and provide for the future. From a material point of view the speech from the Throne furnishes many substantial grounds for congratulation upon the excellent position which Canada occupies at the present time. It is very pleasing to know the vast strides which in recent
years have been made towards colonization and towards the fuller development of our varied resources. It is most satisfactory also to know that almost every branch of industry in tills country is to-day flourishing-. I have before me recently comiiiled figures relative to the trade of this Dominion which would furnish a most interesting theme did time permit me to discuss them, but I shall refrain from doing so as hon. members will be able to see these figures in the departmental returns. However, Sir, common every-day experience in the business world will establish far more clearly than statistics or returns would ever prove, that the golden era of prosperity in tins country, which dawned shortly after this administration attained power-