March 8, 1901

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 48) respecting the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway Company.-Mr. Oliver. Bill (No. 49) to incorporate the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto Railway Company.-Mr. Calvert. Bill (No. 50) respecting the Canadian Mutual Aid Society.-Mr. Sutherland (Essex). Bill (No. 51) to incorporate the Clergue Iron and Nickel Steel Company of Canada. -Mr. Dyment. Bill (No. 52) respecting the Vancouver and Lulu Island Railway Company.-Mr. Maxwell. Bill (No. 53) respecting the Manitoba and North-west Loan Company, Limited.-Mr. Britton. Bill (No. 54) to incorporate the Fort Qu'Appelle Railway Company.-Mr. Douglas. Bill (No. 55) to incorporate the Arnprior and Pontiac Railway Company.-(Mr. Le-mieux.


MESSAGE FROM HIS EXCELLENCY- THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.


The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) presented a Message from His Excellency the Governor General. Mr. SPEAKER read the Message, as follows :- Minto : Gentlemen of the House of Commons : I thank you for the dutiful Address which you have adopted in reply to the Speech with which I opened the session of parliament. I accept with gratitude your assurances that all measures submitted to you will receive your earnest consideration. Government House, Ottawa, 7th March, 1901.


GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Before the Orders of the Day are called, would the right lion, gentleman give us an idea as to the probable date when the government measures will be introduced ? I think it was announced about a week ago that several government measures were still to be introduced.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

I think all the measures which I mentioned the other day have been introduced. The only measure Mr. SCOTT.

yet to be introduced is the Act' concerning the mint.

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SUPPLY-THE CONTRACT WITH THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding) moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.


LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. T. O. DAVIS (Saskatchewan).

Before you leave the Chair, Mr. Speaker, I wish to give notice that on the motion that this House resolve itself into Committee of Supply on Tuesday next, I will move the following resolution in amendment :

Resolved, that in the opinion of this House, the government should take such steps that may be open to it under the law to obtain authoritative interpretation from the Supreme Court of Canada of the meaning of the contract with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company in relation to the exemption of lands from taxation; and

That the patenting of lands earned by railroad companies should be proceeded with all practicable speed.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CONTRACT WITH THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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IRON AND STEEL BOUNTIES.

LIB

Aulay MacAulay Morrison

Liberal

Mr. AULAY MORRISON (New Westminster).

Before you leave the Chair, Mr. Speaker, there is a matter to which I beg to call the attention of the government, and particularly the attention of the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding). It is in reference to the bounties on iron and steel as contained in the statutes of 1896, 1897 and 1899. The Bounty Act of 1897 provides for a bounty on steel ingots, puddled iron bars, and pig iron manufactured in Canada, specifying the amounts per ton which the producers of steel may be entitled to. That Act was amended in 1S99, and the statute sets out, with considerable detail, the extent of the bounty which may be earned by those producing iron and manufacturing steel in the Dominion of Canada. A few days ago the press of the country contained the prospectus of the Dominion Iron and Steel Company, of Sydney, Cape Breton, over the signature of Mr. Moxham, the general manager of that vast industry, and among the attractions specified in that prospectus I find the following ;

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CONTRACT WITH THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   IRON AND STEEL BOUNTIES.
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GOVERNMENT BOUNTY.


If the production from the company's works be as estimated, 300,000 tons of pig metal and 60.000 tons of steel blooms in 1901, and thereafter 400,000 tons of iron and steel per annum, made from foreign (Newfoundland) ore, the bounties to be received from the Canadian government will be as follows ;- 1901 $ 870,000 1902 2,075,000 1903 1,850,000 1904 1,450,000 1905 1,000,000 1906 625,000 1907 225,000



In tlie seven years the bounties to be paid by the government of Canada to the Dominion Iron and Steel Company would amount in the aggregate to $8,095,000. It may not be fair for me to surmise, that taking into consideration the vast resources at the disposal of this company, and the tremendous increase in the iron trade probable in the next few years, that that bounty is likely to be double the amount indicated here. Now, Mr. Speaker, if we were confined to paying bounties even to this one company, in my opinion, the matter would be sufficiently serious, but I find that the Cramp Ontario Steel Company have also issued a prospectus, in which they give us an idea of their expectations with respect to this great industry. They also are in a position to earn and will earn a very large bounty. Then there are other large industries In the Dominion, all of which come under this Act. What I wish to draw the attention of the government to is this, that the Dominion of Canada stands to pay out a very large amount of money in the way of bounties, and I would like to know whether it is too late for the government to take such steps as may, While not invading any vested rights, at the same time prevent further vested interests growing up under the Act. There is no doubt that the principle of granting bounties to industries under certain conditions is a proper one, and one which has been adopted by governments in all civilized countries in the world ; but at the same time it strikes me that in these cases there may be an invasion of that principle. For instance, we find by the prospectus of the Dominion Iron and Steel Co. that they have a capital of some $23,000,000, and they have on their directorate some of the leading financial people of Canada, the United States and Great Britain-men of whom in no sense can it be said that they are financially in dire need of any assistance in respect to any industry or concern to which they may attach themselves. At this juncture-and it is not too early-I think the government should take into their serious consideration this question of the bounty on iron and steel. It may be that the volume of business generated, and the amount of money expended in and about these industries may be commensurate with the amount of bounty the people of this Dominion are obliged to pay to these companies. It is not my intention, in directing the attention of the government to this matter, to advocate the invasion of any vested right that may have been established by this Act. Doubtless the Act was passed with a view to helping the struggling industries of this country ; but I do not think anybody would characterize the Dominion Iron and Steel Co. or the Ontario Cramp Steel Co. as struggling industries that would require such a large amount of tiie money of the taxpayers of Canada to be given to them in order to earn their dividends. I would like very much if the government would give us some assurance that the proper interests of the people will be safeguarded in this respect. I think it is a matter of very great importance, and one that interests every taxpayer in the Dominion. The amount of money which will be paid in bounties must be very large ; in the seven years it might amount to anywhere from $25,000,000 to $50,000,000. I am not an alarmist, but taking the statements of these companies themselves, and the tremendous output which is likely to attend the successful operation of their works, there is every indication that the amount of the bounty will at any rate exceed $15,000,000 within the seven years.


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The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. IV. S. Fielding).

Mr. Speaker, I should not care to give a definite answer to the statement which forms the main point of my hon. friend's question, that is to say, whether or not parliament might properly place any restrictions upon the amount which would become payable under these bounty Acts. The matter has already received some consideration, and 1 am not disposed to give any answer to-day which would tie the hands of the government as to their future course. Of course, there is one thing we must clearly understand, that though how far there may be vested rights is a debatable question, yet in so far as we may agree that there are any vested rights arising under these Acts, those vested rights must he respected. There have been on the statute-books of Canada for many years Acts respecting bounties on iron and steel, and in those Acts there has never been any limitation as to the quantity on which a bounty would be paid. In fact, I think the great difficulty hitherto has been that the Acts were not effective in producing a large development of the iron and steel iudustry. I am afraid that the inference might almost be drawn from my hon. friend's remarks, although he might object to it, that if this industry had jogged along in the old way and only made small demands on the treasury, it would be all right ; but inasmuch as is has got out of the old rut and has developed on a large scale, it is all wrong. I should not like to accept that conclusion. I think, perhaps, there is a tendency on the part of the promoter of a company, when issuing his prospectus, to put his best foot forward ; and if he has any government advantages, he is not likely to underestimate them. Therefore, I should not be very much alarmed at the statements of a very rose-coloured character made in the prospectus of any company organized under this bounty system. Still, it is well to point out that the only matter of difference between us on the two sides of the House as respects this Bounty Act was that while we were will-

ing to pay $2 a ton to this Cape Breton corporation on the iron it might produce, my hon. friend who was at that time the leader of the opposition, was quite willing to pay $3 a ton, because he thought we should treat the iron ore of the colony of Newfoundland just the same as we treat the iron ore of the Dominion itself. On that view there would be paid on all the iron produced in Cape Breton from Newfoundland ore the full bounty, whereas in reality we shall properly treat it as a foreign ore entitled to receive only the minimum bounty. I do not, however, feel very much alarmed over the matter, even if we should be called upon to pay a very large sum under this system. We may perhaps agree that if the industry was worth encouraging at all, it was worth being made successful, and on a large scale. One thing is certain, iron and steel cannot be produced in such enormous quantities, either in Cape Breton or in other parts of the Dominion, without there being an enormous development of the business of the country, from which the Dominion in one form or other will receive a very large return. There is that comfort to us in the first place. There is the further comfort that even if this system should result in the payment of large sums of money, that payment will speedily come to an end, because at the very time we provided the scale of bounties, we stated that it was regarded by us as of vital importance that the bounties should be gradually reduced by the terms of the Act itself ; so that after a term of five years, beginning on the 1st of July next, the bounties will cease to exist. If, therefore, for a short time we should be called upon to pay even a large sum for the development of these industries, we would have the comfort of knowing in the meantime that as a result of that experiment there must grow up a vast amount of business in the Dominion which would not probably have grown up except for that development; and that if the bounty should be large, it can only continue for five years, when it will be wiped off the statute-book. And if at the end of that period we should find ourselves with a tremendous development of the iron and steel industry-and my hon. friend knows that it will be not only in Cape Breton, but also in the province of Ontario, where great works are projected-and if that result should be achieved at considerable cost to the public treasury, I am not sure that we would regret it; for we would have established throughout the Dominion great industries which would undoubtedly have a tremendous effect in developing the prosperity of the whole 'country.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CONTRACT WITH THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT BOUNTY.
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Hon. E. G.@

PRIOR (Victoria, B.C.) When the hon. member for Westminster rose to draw attention to the bounty system, I was in hopes, ill'. Speaker, that instead of finding fault, he was going to urge the necessity I Mr. FIELDING.

for an extension of that system, especially in the province of British Columbia. The hon. gentleman is an old resident of that province, and knows its immense resources. He knows that the people of British Columbia look forward to a not far distant day when we shall have iron works started there ourselves, and he must know that it is impossible to get such works started without a bounty. I do not understand why he should have so much anxiety concerning the large amount Canada may have to pay. As the hon. Finance Minister has pointed out, whenever an amount is paid for bounty, there is considerably more added to the wealth of Canada, as on every ton of iron manufactured a large sum of money is paid out in wages and material. I have in my hand a newspaper clipping, giving a report of the convention of the Boards of Trade of British Columbia held at Greenwood. One of the resolutions passed is the following :

Whereas, there is at present no lead refining, works in the Dominion of Canada, and the initial cost of establishing such a plant is very great, it is the opinion of this association that the Dominion government should encourage the establishment of such a plant by a grant for a term of years of a bounty of $5 per ton upon ail lead of Canadian origin smelted and refined in Canada.

That is one of the resolutions passed by the associated boards of trade at its annual convention, and it shows the feelings of the business men of that province. With that resolution X am heartily in accord, and I am sorry to see an hon. gentleman get up and endeavour to lead this House to believe that the people he represents are not in favour of the bounty system, but are in favour of its being carefully watched at least, if not entirely done away with. Let me say that even if millions be expended in bounties, we would get an ample return for our expenditure from the work done in the smelters. In British Columbia, the business interests are not only asking for a bounty on lead refining, but are looking forward to government assistance to the ship building industry in Vancouver and Victoria. In fact, we hope soon to see the day when the Pacific coast will be the great manufacturing section of the Dominion.

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Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT BOUNTY.
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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. N. CLARKE WALLACE (West York).

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CONTRACT WITH THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

I would like to ask the hon. member for West York (Mr. Wallace) whether we are to understand that he opposes the policy of granting a bounty for the manufacture of iron in Canada ?

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Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT BOUNTY.
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March 8, 1901